Research Article

Multimodal treatment in operable breast cancer: five-year results of the CMF programme.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 282 doi: (Published 02 May 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;282:1427
  1. A Rossi,
  2. G Bonadonna,
  3. P Valagussa,
  4. U Veronesi


    The five-year results of a prospective randomised trial of radical mastectomy (179 patients) versus radical mastectomy followed by adjuvant chemotherapy (207 patients) were analysed. Chemotherapy consisted of 12 monthly cycles of cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil (CMF). Both relapse-free survival (controls 44.6%, CMF group 59.5%) and total survival (controls 66.2%, CMF group 78.4%) were significantly improved. The findings were related to the number of diseased axillary nodes and amount of drug administered, and were independent of CMF-induced amenorrhoea. Menopausal state alone appeared to affect the five-year results only when the amount of drug administered was not taken into account. Salvage treatment at first relapse failed to improve total survival in the controls compared with the CMF group. Acute toxic manifestations were moderate and reversible. Chronic organ damage and increased incidence of second neoplasms (controls 1.7%, CMF group 1.4%) were not observed. The multimodality approach to treatment of primary breast cancer is a new and important advance. This and other studies are continuing.