High-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation as treatment for high-risk breast cancer

Martin S. Tallman*, William J. Gradishar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


High-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation has emerged as a common treatment for patients with breast cancer who have a poor prognosis. The success of this approach appears to depend on the tumor burden and the sensitivity of the disease to chemotherapy because treatment techniques have been refined and treatment-related mortality has declined. Phase II studies in patients with stage II and III disease are encouraging and suggest that treatment with high-dose chemotherapy before the development of metastatic disease may provide an advantage in terms of relapse-free and overall survival. However, tumor cells may contaminate stem cell collections and contribute to relapse after transplantation. Therefore it may be important to separate and select purified CD34+ cells which are not contaminated. It has been suggested that selection bias contributes to the favorable preliminary results observed in phase II studies of high-risk patients. Such issues,together with patient and physician bias regarding the benefits of this strategy, emphasize the need to complete the prospective randomized trials now underway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S60-S67
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology, Supplement
StatePublished - Aug 1 1998


  • Autologous stem cell transplantation
  • Breast cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research

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