(HealthDay News) — Women with breast cancer are twice as likely as men with breast cancer to achieve a pathologic complete response (pCR) with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC), according to a study published in Cancer.

For this study, José Pablo Leone, MD, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues evaluated pCR by sex and tumor subtype.

The analysis included 385 men and 68,065 women with breast cancer who were treated with NAC from 2010 through 2016.

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Rates of pCR by sex and tumor subtype were:

  • 4.9% in men and 9.7% in women with hormone receptor-positive (HR+)/HER2-negative (HER2-) breast cancer (P =.01)
  • 16.1% in men and 33.6% in women with HR+/HER2+ disease (P <.001)
  • 44.0% in men and 53.2% in women with HR-/HER2+ disease (P =.42)
  • 21.4% in men and 32.1% in women with HR-/HER2- breast cancer (P =.18).

In an adjusted analysis, women had twice the odds of pCR as men (odds ratio, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.5-2.8; P <.001).

Among women, the 5-year overall survival rate was 91.9% for those who achieved pCR and 75.3% for those who did not (P <.01). Among men, the 5-year overall survival rate was 90% and 64.7%, respectively (P =.01).

“The results from our study are valuable to inform about the comparative efficacy of NAC between men and women with breast cancer, given that there has never been a prospective trial evaluating the efficacy of NAC in maBC [men with breast cancer], and there are no prospective comparisons of the efficacy of NAC between sexes,” the authors wrote.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Abstract/Full Text