Background: Patients with isolated locoregional recurrences (ILRR) of breast cancer have a high risk of distant metastasis and death from breast cancer. We aimed to establish whether adjuvant chemotherapy improves the outcome of such patients. Methods: The CALOR trial was a pragmatic, open-label, randomised trial that accrued patients with histologically proven and completely excised ILRR after unilateral breast cancer who had undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy with clear surgical margins. Eligible patients were enrolled from hospitals worldwide and were centrally randomised (1:1) to chemotherapy (type selected by the investigator; multidrug for at least four courses recommended) or no chemotherapy, using permuted blocks, and stratified by previous chemotherapy, oestrogen-receptor and progesterone-receptor status, and location of ILRR. Patients with oestrogen-receptor-positive ILRR received adjuvant endocrine therapy, radiation therapy was mandated for patients with microscopically involved surgical margins, and anti-. HER2 therapy was optional. The primary endpoint was disease-free survival. All analyses were by intention to treat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00074152. Findings: From Aug 22, 2003, to Jan 31, 2010, 85 patients were randomly assigned to receive chemotherapy and 77 were assigned to no chemotherapy. At a median follow-up of 4·9 years (IQR 3·6-6 ·0), 24 (28%) patients had disease-free survival events in the chemotherapy group compared with 34 (44%) in the no chemotherapy group. 5-year disease-free survival was 69% (95% CI 56-79) with chemotherapy versus 57% (44-67) without chemotherapy (hazard ratio 0·59 [95% CI 0·35-0·99]; p=0·046). Adjuvant chemotherapy was significantly more effective for women with oestrogen-receptor-negative ILRR (pinteraction=0·046), but analyses of disease-free survival according to the oestrogen-receptor status of the primary tumour were not statistically significant (pinteraction=0·43). Of the 81 patients who received chemotherapy, 12 (15%) had serious adverse events. The most common adverse events were neutropenia, febrile neutropenia, and intestinal infection. Interpretation: Adjuvant chemotherapy should be recommended for patients with completely resected ILRR of breast cancer, especially if the recurrence is oestrogen-receptor negative. Funding: US Department of Health and Human Services, Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK), Frontier Science and Technology Research Foundation, Australian and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group, Swedish Cancer Society, Oncosuisse, Cancer Association of South Africa, Foundation for Clinical Research of Eastern Switzerland (OSKK), Grupo Español de Investigación en Cáncer de Mama (GEICAM), and the Dutch Breast Cancer Trialists' Group (BOOG).
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