The association between body mass index and pathological complete response in neoadjuvant-treated breast cancer patients

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Background: Obesity seems to be associated with a poorer response to adjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer (BC); however, associations in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) setting and according to menopausal status are less studied. This study aims to investigate the association between pretreatment body mass index (BMI) and pathological complete response (pCR) following NACT in BC according to menopausal and estrogen receptor (ER) status. Material and Methods: The study cohort consisted of 491 patients receiving NACT in 2005–2019. Based on pre-NACT patient and tumor characteristics, the association between BMI and achieving pCR was analyzed using logistic regression models (crude and adjusted models (age, tumor size, and node status)) with stratification by menopausal and ER status. Results: In the overall cohort, being overweight (BMI ≥25) compared by being normal-weight (BMI <25), increased the odds of accomplishing pCR by 15%. However, based on the 95% confidence interval (CI) the data were compatible with associations within the range of a decrease of 30% to an increase of 89%. Stratification according to menopausal status also showed no strong association: the odds ratio (OR) of accomplishing pCR in overweight premenopausal patients compared with normal-weight premenopausal patients was 1.76 (95% CI 0.88–3.55), whereas for postmenopausal patients the corresponding OR was 0.71 (95% CI 0.35–1.46). Discussion: In a NACT BC cohort of 491 patients, we found no evidence of high BMI as a predictive factor of accomplishing pCR, neither in the whole cohort nor stratified by menopausal status. Given the limited precision in our results, larger studies are needed before considering BMI in clinical decision-making regarding NACT or not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-737
Number of pages7
JournalActa Oncologica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cancer and Oncology

Free keywords

  • BMI
  • body constitution
  • Breast neoplasm
  • neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • obesity


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