According to researchers at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, pathologically complete response (PCR) is a primary factor for cancer survival, regardless of race.

The study consisted of 2,074 patients diagnosed with Stages II and III breast cancer who were treated at the M.D. Anderson between 1994 and 2008. Of these:

• 1,334 (64.3 percent) were white, with a 12.3 percent PCR.

• 302 (14.6 percent) black, with a 12.5 percent PCR.

• 316 (15.2 percent) Hispanic, with a 14.23 percent PCR.

• 122 (5.9 percent) “other” race groups, with a 11.5 percent PCR.

The median age was 50. All received neoadjuvant—before surgery—anthracycline- and taxane-based chemotherapy.

At a follow-up of 30 months, there were 438 recurrences and 327 deaths. The recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were:

• 71percent and 79 percent in whites.

• 60 percent and 57 percent in blacks

• 76 percent and 79 percent in Hispanics

75 percent and 84 percent in “other.”

“Our findings confirm pathological complete response is a strong prognostic indicator and a surrogate for good survival, despite a patient’s race, and that it’s vital we continue to strive towards achieving this milestone for all women with breast cancer,” said Mariana Chavez MacGregor, M.D., a medical oncology fellow at M. D. Anderson. “The study also mandates that we continue to research the differences across races in breast cancer.”

Read the complete news release here.

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