PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in combination with regional inductive moderate hyperthermia for patients with locally advanced breast cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: 200 patients with stage IIB-IIIA breast cancer received neoadjuvant chemotherapy (control group, n = 97) or chemotherapy combined with hyperthermia (experimental group, n = 103). Inductive hyperthermia was set at 27.12 ± 0.16 MHz and the 50 W output power.
RESULTS: Thermal and color Doppler ultrasound imaging demonstrated that hyperthermia increased the surface temperature on the breasts to < 4°С while the mean values for systolic blood flow were 3.5 times as high as those prior to treatment. Assessment of tumor size and response found a (31.24 ± 3.85)% reduction in the size of the primary tumor in patients receiving chemotherapy + hyperthermia, while chemotherapy alone showed a (22.95 ± 3.61)% decrease on average (p = 0.034). The rate of objective response increased by 15.9% in the experimental group (р = 0.034) compared with the control group. The patients in the experimental group also had axillary lymph node regression of 14.17% greater than in the control group (p = 0.011). Moreover, the combination treatment allowed to increase the proportion of women eligible for breast-conserving and reconstructive surgery by 13.63% in the experimental group. The viable tumor volume was lower in patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy + hyperthermia (24.4 ± 0.2)% compared with those given chemotherapy alone (30.4 ± 0.25)%. The 10-year overall survival rates were higher (log-rank: p = 0.009) in breast cancer patients who underwent chemotherapy combined with hyperthermia than in patients receiving chemotherapy only.
CONCLUSION: The combination neoadjuvant chemotherapy and the technology of regional inductive moderate hyperthermia improved the efficacy of treatment for patients with locally advanced breast cancer staged IIB-IIIA.