Race and recurrence in women who undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer

Am J Surg. 2013 Apr;205(4):397-401. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2013.01.009. Epub 2013 Feb 16.


Background: Black women can have worse outcomes than white women with breast cancer. We examined survival in black and white women who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Methods: We identified 98 women with stage II or III breast cancer who underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Women with inflammatory breast cancer, T4 disease, or metastases were excluded. Data were analyzed using the Fisher exact test and Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: From the cohort, 69 women were included. The median follow-up was 6.2 years. The estrogen receptor status was similar. White women tended to overexpress human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) (P = .091). The pretreatment T stage was T3. All women received similar neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The 5-year progression-free survival was better for white women compared with black women (78% vs 58%, P = .05). The 5-year overall survival was similar (P = .095).

Conclusions: The pretreatment characteristics of women receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy were similar. Black women had a worse disease-free survival. The overall survival was the same.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anthracyclines / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Black or African American*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Chemoradiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Mastectomy
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / ethnology*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Taxoids / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • White People*
  • Young Adult


  • Anthracyclines
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Taxoids