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Systemic Adjuvant Therapy for Node-Negative Breast Cancer: Proven or Premature?

Kathleen I. Pritchard, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

Requests for Reprints: Kathleen I. Pritchard, MD, Toronto-Bayview Regional Cancer Center, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 4MN 3M5.


Sunnybrook Medical Centre and
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario


Ann Intern Med. 1989;111(1):1-4. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-111-1-1
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

Until recently, it has not been considered standard practice to administer adjuvant systemic therapy after surgery to any group of women with node-negative breast cancer (1). These women have relatively few relapses, only 25% to 28% at 10 years, compared with a 10-year relapse rate of 75% in women with node-positive disease (2, 3). Overall survival rates, similarly, are 65% to 82% at 10 years for women with node-negative disease and 25% to 40% for women with involved axillary nodes (2, 3). Recurrence and survival rates for node-negative women are, however, still far from ideal.

Before 1988, only a few

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