Pathologic response of ductal carcinoma in situ to neoadjuvant systemic treatment in HER2-positive breast cancer.



As DCIS can respond to NST containing HER2-blockade, the presence of extensive DCIS in HER2-positive breast cancer before NST should not always indicate a mastectomy. The predictive factors we found could be helpful when considering breast-conserving surgery in these patients.


Adjacent DCIS, observed in 138/316 patients with HER2-positive IBC, was eradicated after NST in 46% of patients. Absence of calcifications suspicious for malignancy on pre-NST mammography (odds ratio (OR) 3.75; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.72-8.17), treatment with dual HER2-blockade (OR 2.36; 95% CI 1.17-4.75), a (near) complete response on MRI (OR 3.55; 95% CI 1.31-9.64), and absence of calcifications (OR 3.19; 95% CI 1.34-7.60) and Ki-67 > 20% in DCIS (OR 2.74; 95% CI 1.09-6.89) on pre-NST biopsy were significantly associated with DCIS response.


The presence of extensive ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) adjacent to HER2-positive invasive breast cancer (IBC) is often a contra-indication for breast-conserving surgery, even in case of excellent treatment response of the invasive component. Data on the response of DCIS to neoadjuvant systemic treatment (NST) are limited. Therefore, we estimated the response of adjacent DCIS to NST-containing HER2-blockade in HER2-positive breast cancer patients and assessed the association of clinicopathological and radiological factors with response.


Pre-NST biopsies were examined to determine presence of DCIS in all women with HER2-positive IBC treated with trastuzumab-containing NST ± pertuzumab between 2004 and 2017 in a comprehensive cancer center. When present, multiple DCIS factors, including grade, calcifications, necrosis, hormone receptor, and Ki-67 expression, were scored. Associations of clinicopathological and radiological factors with complete response were assessed using logistic regression models.

More about this publication

Breast cancer research and treatment
  • Volume 189
  • Issue nr. 1
  • Pages 213-224
  • Publication date 01-08-2021

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