Tailoring therapies-improving the management of early breast cancer: St Gallen International Expert Consensus on the Primary Therapy of Early Breast Cancer 2015

Alan S. Coates, Eric P. Winer, Aron Goldhirsch, Richard D. Gelber, Michael Gnant, Martine J. Piccart-Gebhart, Beat Thürlimann, H. J. Senn, Fabrice André, José Baselga, Jonas Bergh, Hervé Bonnefoi, Harold Burstein, Fatima Cardoso, Monica Castiglione-Gertsch, Marco Colleoni, Giuseppe Curigliano, Nancy E. Davidson, Angelo Di Leo, Bent EjlertsenJohn F. Forbes, Viviana Galimberti, Pamela Goodwin, Nadia Harbeck, Daniel F. Hayes, Jens Huober, Clifford A. Hudis, James N. Ingle, Jacek Jassem, Zefei Jiang, Per Karlsson, Monica Morrow, Roberto Orecchia, C. Kent Osborne, Ann H. Partridge, Lorena de la Peña, Kathleen I. Pritchard, Emiel J T Rutgers, Felix Sedlmayer, Vladimir Semiglazov, Zhi Ming Shao, Ian Smith, Masakazu Toi, Andrew Tutt, Giuseppe Viale, Gunter von Minckwitz, Toru Watanabe, Timothy Whelan, Binghe Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 14th St Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference (2015) reviewed substantial new evidence on locoregional and systemic therapies for early breast cancer. Further experience has supported the adequacy of tumor margins defined as 'no ink on invasive tumor or DCIS' and the safety of omitting axillary dissection in specific cohorts. Radiotherapy trials support irradiation of regional nodes in node-positive disease. Considering subdivisions within luminal disease, the Panel was more concerned with indications for the use of specific therapies, rather than surrogate identification of intrinsic subtypes as measured by multiparameter molecular tests. For the treatment of HER2-positive disease in patients with node-negative cancers up to 1 cm, the Panel endorsed a simplified regimen comprising paclitaxel and trastuzumab without anthracycline as adjuvant therapy. For premenopausal patients with endocrine responsive disease, the Panel endorsed the role of ovarian function suppression with either tamoxifen or exemestane for patients at higher risk. The Panel noted the value of an LHRH agonist given during chemotherapy for premenopausal women with ER-negative disease in protecting against premature ovarian failure and preserving fertility. The Panel noted increasing evidence for the prognostic value of commonly used multiparameter molecular markers, some of which also carried prognostic information for late relapse. The Panel noted that the results of such tests, where available, were frequently used to assist decisions about the inclusion of cytotoxic chemotherapy in the treatment of patients with luminal disease, but noted that threshold values had not been established for this purpose for any of these tests. Multiparameter molecular assays are expensive and therefore unavailable in much of the world. The majority of new breast cancer cases and breast cancer deaths now occur in less developed regions of the world. In these areas, less expensive pathology tests may provide valuable information. The Panel recommendations on treatment are not intended to apply to all patients, but rather to establish norms appropriate for the majority. Again, economic considerations may require that less expensive and only marginally less effective therapies may be necessary in less resourced areas. Panel recommendations do not imply unanimous agreement among Panel members. Indeed, very few of the 200 questions received 100% agreement from the Panel. In the text below, wording is intended to convey the strength of Panel support for each recommendation, while details of Panel voting on each question are available in supplementary Appendix S2, available at Annals of Oncology online.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1533-1546
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Early breast cancer
  • Radiation therapy
  • St Gallen Consensus
  • Surgery
  • Systemic adjuvant therapies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology


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