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William J. Gradishar, MD, FACP, FASCO


Early-Stage Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Race and Pathologic Complete Response to Neoadjuvant Treatment

By: Jenna Carter, PhD
Posted: Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Understanding the role of race in the treatment response for patients with early-stage triple-negative breast cancer is key to diversifying therapeutic approaches. In a presentation at the 2024 Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) Annual Meeting (Abstract 15), Natália Polidorio, MD, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and colleagues highlighted the impact of race on the pathologic complete response rates after neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy vs neoadjuvant chemotherapy alone. The investigators found that the differences based on self-reported race those given neoadjuvant chemotherapy were not seen in those given neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy. (For more on this study, see a video with Dr. Polidorio.)

A total of 776 patients with early-stage triple-negative breast cancer were included in this single-institution retrospective study. Patients either received neoadjuvant chemoimmunotherapy (n = 280) or neoadjuvant chemotherapy alone (n = 496). Patients were also grouped based on their self-reported race as Asian, Black, White, or Other. Univariate and multivariate analyses were then used to analyze pathologic complete response rates and clinical variables across the groups.

Overall findings revealed that pathologic complete response rates were 36% for patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy and 56% for those receiving chemoimmunotherapy. Analyses also revealed that increases in pathologic complete response rates among patients receiving chemoimmunotherapy were largely driven by increases in the rates for Black patients (29%–57%) and Asian patients (24%–60%). Additionally, there was less of a change observed for White (38%–54%) patients and no change for Other (63%–63%) patients. Multivariate results following adjustments for age, tumor grade, and other factors revealed that Asian patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy tended to be less likely to achieve a pathologic complete response (odds ratio [OR] = 0.40, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.19–0.81, P = .013); there was also a nonsignificant decrease in rates for Black patients (OR = 0.69, 95% CI = 0.42–1.12, P = .14).

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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