Neoadjuvant chemotherapy rates for breast cancer in Australia—“are we there yet?”

Paul David Patiniott, Geoffrey Yuet Mun Wong, Yick Ho Lam, Beverley Fosh


Background: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) is indicated in locally advanced breast cancer and being increasingly utilised in high risk, early stage breast cancer to improve surgical outcomes. This study examines the trend of NAC utilisation for early and locally advanced breast cancer in Australia.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data from the BreastSurgANZ Quality Audit (BQA) database identified patients registered with early breast cancer who received NAC from 2011 to 2016. Trend analysis for NAC utilisation was performed using the Cox-Stuart and Chi-squared tests.
Results: A total of 55,757 cases of breast cancer were identified from 2011 to 2016, of which 2,469 (4.43%) cases underwent NAC. There were no significant trends for cancer diagnosis in this period (P=0.5). The proportion of patients receiving NAC increased from 3.08% in 2011 to 6.65% in 2016; this trend was statistically significant (P≤0.001).
Conclusions: Compared to other population-based studies on the administration of NAC for breast cancer, NAC is still underutilised in Australia.