Pathologic changes related to CMF primary chemotherapy in breast cancer. Pathological evaluation of response predicts clinical outcome

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2002 Sep;75(2):119-25. doi: 10.1023/a:1019607924403.


The pathologic changes associated to response to primary chemotherapy in a series of 303 operable breast cancers are evaluated and correlated to patients' follow-up (interval free of disease and survival). In our series, the incidence of microscopic changes related to chemotherapy is 43.9%. Tumor replacement by loose fibrosis is the most common pathologic event. In most cases, the intensity of fibrotic change is proportional to the degree of clinical-mammographic reduction of the tumor mass. However, some discrepancies exist in the sense of absence of microscopic changes in cases of well-documented mammographic reduction as well as in cases without clinical reduction but with large areas of chemotherapy-related fibrosis. The presence of pathologic response is significantly associated with better survival rate.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / surgery
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Fibrosis / pathology
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Lymph Node Excision
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Mammography
  • Methotrexate / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Remission Induction
  • Survival Rate


  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Fluorouracil
  • Methotrexate

Supplementary concepts

  • CMF regimen