What To Look For In Chemotherapy Response
One important thing on HER2 and I’ll also talk about in triple negative disease, but when you’re doing that upfront treatment with your IV treatments, an important question, when you get your final pathology, when your medical oncologist and your breast surgeon looks over your final pathology, meaning that tumor that’s taken out during your surgery is how your breast cancer has responded to the chemotherapy and / or HER2 medication.
When you look at that, the most important thing is saying that your tumor has decreased in size and what we would like to see is something called a complete pathologic response, meaning that when the pathologist, the doctor who will review your tumor, sees that all of those cancer cells show signs that they’ve died from the treatment that you have. Now remember, even though you have had these treatments with your IV, chemotherapy and / or HER2 treatment, you still need surgery because that’s the ultimate way to cure your breast cancer is through surgery.
For patients with HER2 positive breast cancer that did have upfront surgery, generally the cutoff what’s called adjuvant treatment, or that combination of chemotherapy with your anti HER2 treatment is if on their final pathology, their tumor is greater than one centimeter, or if there’s evidence of lymph node involvement.
1. The most important thing is seeing if your tumor has gotten smaller
2. We would like to see a complete pathologic response, meaning that when the pathologist sees that all of those cancer cells show signs that they’ve died.
3. You still need surgery because that’s the ultimate way to cure your breast cancer.