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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Forty years of landmark trials undertaken by the Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group (DBCG) nationwide or in international collaboration

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BACKGROUND: Over the past 40 years the Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group (DBCG) has made significant contributions to improve outcome and to make treatment of patients with early breast cancer more tolerable through nationwide and international trials evaluating loco-regional and systemic treatments. These trials have been instrumental to establish standards for the treatment of early breast cancer.

METHODS: The DBCG 82 trials had a global impact by documenting that the significant gain in loco-regional recurrence from postmastectomy radiation added to systemic therapy was associated with a reduction in distant recurrence and mortality in high-risk pre- and postmenopausal patients. The DBCG trials comparing breast conserving surgery and radiotherapy with mastectomy and more recently the trial of internal mammary node irradiation also had a major impact of practice. The trials initiated by the DBCG 40 years ago on tamoxifen and cyclophosphamide based chemotherapy became instrumental for the development of adjuvant systemic therapy not only due to their positive results but by sharing these important data with other members of the Early Breast Cancer Trialist' Collaborative Group (EBCTCG). Trials from the DBCG have also been important for highlighting the relative importance of anthracyclines and taxanes in the adjuvant setting. Furthermore, DBCG has made a major contribution to the development of aromatase inhibitors and targeted adjuvant treatment for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive breast cancers.

RESULTS: The substantial impact of these treatment improvements is illustrated by a 46.7% 10-year overall survival of early breast cancer patients treated in 1978-1987 compared to 71.5% for patients treated 2008-2012.

CONCLUSIONS: The trials conducted and implemented by the DBCG appear to have a major impact on the substantial survival improvements in breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa oncologica
Volume57
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)3-12
ISSN0284-186X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 52152749