Purpose: To determine the mammographic features of locally advanced breast carcinoma treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy and to evaluate the accuracy of mammography in the prediction of residual carcinoma.
Materials and methods: Of 90 women treated with hormonally synchronized cytotoxic therapy before mastectomy or lumpectomy for advanced breast carcinoma, 56 were selected because they had undergone mammography before and after neo-adjuvant therapy. Mammographic and clinical opinion on the presence of residual disease was compared with histologic results.
Results: Fifty-four (96%) of 56 women had a complete (n = 34 [61%]) or partial (n = 20 [36%]) clinical response. Thirteen (23%) of 56 women had no residual tumor. Sensitivity of mammography in the prediction of residual carcinoma was greater than that of clinical examination (79% vs 49%), but specificity was lower (77% vs 92%). In 24 women with inflammatory carcinoma, sensitivity of mammography was 78% while that of clinical examination was 39%; specificity was equal (83%).
Conclusion: Mammography was more sensitive than clinical examination in the prediction of residual carcinoma; it was not accurate enough to obviate surgical biopsy.