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Effect of Preoperative Chemotherapy on Axillary Lymph Node Metastases in Stage II Breast Cancer: A Prospective Randomized Trial

Phase 2
Not Enrolling
Breast Neoplasm, Neoplasm Metastasis

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Trial Information

Effect of Preoperative Chemotherapy on Axillary Lymph Node Metastases in Stage II Breast Cancer: A Prospective Randomized Trial

A prospective randomized trial evaluating the effect of preoperative dose intense
chemotherapy (FLAC/G-CSF) on axillary lymph node metastases in women with clinical stage II
(T1N1, T2N0, T2N1) breast cancer. Patients will be randomized to receive 5 cycles of
combination chemotherapy (5-FU, adriamycin, leucovorin, cytoxan, G-CSF) either as initial
therapy (preoperative) or postoperatively after local therapy (modified radical mastectomy
or lumpectomy/axillary lymph node dissection/whole breast radiotherapy). Each chemotherapy
cycle will be 21 days. At the time of local therapy the incidence of axillary metastases in
the axillary dissection specimen will be determined and compared in the preoperative
chemotherapy vs. postoperative chemotherapy treatment groups.

Inclusion Criteria


Women of any age with clinical stage II breast cancer who met the following criteria:

Patients with stage II breast cancer will include primary tumor less than or equal to 5 cm
in size with axillary lymph nodes which are clinically ([N0 or N1] [T1N1, T2N0, T2N1]).

Patients will be staged according to the 1986 AJCC TMM classification.

Patients with bilateral breast cancer will be eligible provided at least one tumor is
invasive and classified as stage I or II, and neither breast is stage III.

Histologic sections of the breast tumor must be classified as an invasive primary breast
neoplasm of epithelial origin.

Patients must be geographically accessible for follow-up and willing to return for the
follow-up at the NCI.

Patients must be mentally competent to understand and give informed consent for the

Estrogen receptor (ER) status can include ER positive, negative, or unknown.

Patients with prior cancers may be eligible as long as they have received curative therapy
and have had no evidence of recurrence for greater than or equal to 10 years.


Patients will be excluded from this protocol for the following reasons:

Advanced local disease or distant metastases (stage III or IV).

Previous therapy to the breast other than excisional biopsy.


Unwillingness to use birth control during chemotherapy.

Chronic disease such as heart, lung, liver, kidney, blood or metabolic disorders which may
render the patient a poor risk for surgery or chemotherapy. Specifically, liver function
- SGOT, SGPT, alkaline phosphatase and total bilirubin should be less than 1.5 x the upper
limits of normal. Renal function - creatinine should be less than 1.7 and/or creatinine
clearance should be greater than 45 ml/min. If there is any history of cardiac disease,
patients must have a normal ejection fraction on MUGA scan and no angina.

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Primary Purpose: Treatment


United States: Federal Government

Study ID:




Start Date:

December 1989

Completion Date:

October 2002

Related Keywords:

  • Breast Neoplasm
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy
  • Dose Intense Chemotherapy
  • Stage II Breast Cancer
  • Early Stage Breast Cancer
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Neoplasms
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary



National Cancer Institute (NCI) Bethesda, Maryland  20892