Dr. Perez on Patient Selection for Adjuvant Chemotherapy

Dr. Edith Perez, from the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Discusses Adjuvant Chemotherapy Patient Selection

Edith A. Perez, MD, deputy director, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Florida, director, Breast Program, Serene M. and Frances C. Durling Professor of Medicine, Mayo Medical School, discusses patient selection for adjuvant chemotherapy in women with breast cancer.

Adjuvant therapy varies depending on the subtype of cancer. Patients with node-positive or negative breast cancer are eligible to receive chemotherapy, especially if the tumor is larger than 1 cm. Those with HER2-positive tumors should receive chemotherapy with trastuzumab, except if the tumor is smaller than .5 cm with no lymph node involvement.

The field of adjuvant therapy is continually evolving and requires a multidisciplinary approach to achieve the greatest improvement in disease-free survival. Until research detects the patients who will benefit the most from systemic chemotherapy, physicians should continue to use the best tools available in order to limit relapses and optimize survival.