Neoadjuvant complete response.

Firstly WOO HOO :smiley:

I was diagnosed with a TN IDC in Feb 11, grade 3, 4cm. Mixed opinions about the nodes - multiple nodes enlarged on CT and MRI scan - but 2x negative aspirations (inflammatory and benign cells respectively).

In view of my age (30) and size of tumour I started neoadjuvant chemo. About 10 days after the first dose I noticed it was shrinking, but the time I had the second dose it was barely there, disappeared completely a few days later. So I was sent back to the surgeons to discuss early surgery. I ended up having 4 cycles of FEC before surgery.

I had a wide local excision (of the area marked by the coil) and full axillary clearance.

Results today were no cancer cells found at all, and only one lymph node with any scar tissue and evidence of previous involvement. So a complete pathological response to chemo.

Anyone out there with similar?? I know I am in a minority here on several factors. But my question is that they are suggesting no further chemo and just rads - is that really enough??

I know that chemo kills cancer cells, and if the chemo I have had has killed a 4cm mass then surely it got any stray cells - but only 4 cycles of chemo for a grade 3 TN???!! Sounds pretty ‘low key’, and therefore very scary.

WOW!! manny that’s bloody fantastic news! You must be sooo relieved!! Sounds like your bc was highly chemo responsive :slight_smile: As for whether you need more chemo…I understand your anxieties being triple neg also but it sounds like your docs are confident you are now clear. I would probably seek a 2nd opinion if you have any doubts. I’m sure it wouldn’t do any harm to have a few more FECs, given the standard dose is 6-8 cycles. I would probably request this just to be sure- especially given you know it’s working so amazingly well.
I’m so pleased for you best of luck with the rest of your treatment + recovery :slight_smile:
tina xx

Oh wow!! That’s great news! I’m having neoadjuvant chemo, but no obvious reduction so far. I do keep copping a feel though, just in case!! My onc said the complete response happens in 20% of cases, so lucky you!

I can’t help with your questions, but just wanted to say that it’s great to hear stories like yours and hope that the rest of your treatment goes well.

You can always ask for a second opinion if you’re a bit concerned and want your mind put at ease. There would be nothing worse than looking back and wishing you’d done that in a year’s time!

Wow, that sounds bloomin’ impressive, Manny, what a great result from chemo!

Not in any position to comment on 6 versus 4, but such a brilliant result to have so strong a response to chemo.


thats fantastic i am loving all these good news posts x

Fab news!:)) soo happy for you


Well done!!

I am on neoadjuvent chemo, 3 FEC + 3 TAX onc wanted to give 4+4 but for other reasons I am having 6 cycles in all, the experts did not agree that there is any more benefit to 3(6 cycles in all) of each rather than 4( 8 cycles) of each, I did some digging and found out that they are now looking at the possibility of 4 cycles in total being enough, if it is doing the job then why risk side effects and problems??? All I know is noone would say to me 8 cycles an advantage on 6? so is 6 an advantage on 4??? how can we know? In fact oncy said we don’t know if the benefit would outweigh the risks taking into account se’s etc,? Confusing though eh? but glad you have posotive news!!! xxxJ

i had 4 fec and 4 tax with a complete clinical and pathological response and am now in remission. Good luck to you all and lets hope that these good responses continue for all. It is certainly good for newcomers coming along and see how good the response is.

I was diagnosed with a very aggressive 2.4cm tn tumour which had more than doubled in size between my biopsy and op. It had spread to my nodes and was so full of vascular invasion I wasn’t expected to get through chemo without it returning. I had 4xfec,4xtax and am still ned nearly 8yrs later! I suppose I’m living proof that tn tumours respond very well to chemo.
Josie x

Thank-you so much for the support and advice. I do trust my oncologist really and am yet to formally discuss it with him. The info I have was given to me by my Breast Surgeon. She had the info regarding chemo etc from the MDT a few days previously.

We did briefly discuss it before I had the surgery and what he said was that there was nothing magical about 6 cycles of chemo and that it is just done by convention in the adjuvant setting. Neoadjuvant is more what you as an individual need. My husband queried the need for taxotere in view of lymph node involvement and my onc had a chat about it and said he wouldn’t necessarily deny it. But at that point we did not know about a complete pathological response - although I guess they realised it was a possibility with a mass that had gone.

Actually the oncologists secretary rang me today and gave me an unexpected appointment for wednesday - I think my surgeon must have asked him to see me to make a final decision. I am VERY pleased that they have been so proactive at calling me in quickly to make a decision!

And SO wonderful to hear of those of you who are in remission. And Joise - 8 yrs - how wonderful - yes you are clearly living proof of how sensitive some tumour cells can be!!

Sandy - I remember saying to my Surgeon that this would never happen when they initially put the coil in - but it did! I think you are Er+? My husband has done a TON of reading on neoadjuvant chemo and he says that Er+ tumours usually are slower to respond to chemo but some do still get to a pCR in the end. So hang on in there!!

I’m similar to you; complete response and am having radiotherapy.

You asked about why chemo wasn’t enough: The reason I was given was that chemo kills the cells at a certain stage of their development (hence the importance of cycles - a bit like the kids nits, doing them repeatedly to kill off the eggs - if you see what I mean!), but the rads will kill off any rogue cells kicking around that were at the wrong stage to be hit by the chemo. It is unlikely but it is belt and braces.

Not sure of the technicalities, but it made sense to me