The use of neoadjuvant systemic therapy (NST) for the treatment of primary breast cancer has constantly increased, especially in trials of new therapeutic regimens. In the 1980 s, NST was shown to substantially improve breast-conserving surgery rates and was first typically used for patients with inoperable locally advanced or inflammatory breast cancer. Investigators have since also used NST as an in vivo test for chemosensitivity by assessing pathologic complete response. Today, by using pathologic response and other biomarkers as intermediate end points, results from trials of new regimens and therapies that use NST are aimed to precede and anticipate the results from larger adjuvant trials. In 2003, a panel of representatives from various breast cancer clinical research groups was first convened in Biedenkopf to formulate recommendations on the use of NST. The obtained consensus was updated in two subsequent meetings in 2004 and 2006. The most recent conference on recommendations on the use of NST took place in 2010 and forms the basis of this report. Since the last consensus meeting on neoadjuvant systemic therapy (NST) in 2006, knowledge has increased on intrinsic subtype responses, different chemotherapy and trastuzumab regimens' response evaluation, and the use of sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB).1 The aim of this update was to integrate this new knowledge into the current practice of NST in primary breast cancer.
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