Treatment of breast cancer typically incorporates several treatment modalities that may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy. Depending on the stage of the breast cancer this multi-modality treatment approach may increase a patient’s chance of cure, improve a patient's duration of survival, and/or improve a patient's quality of life.
High doses of chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant are more likely to cure patients with cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma. In the mid 1980s, it was observed that modest increases in the dose of chemotherapy delivered to patients with breast cancer also appeared to improve survival and cure rates. The combined observations of high-dose chemotherapy curing more patients with leukemia and lymphoma and the suggestion of the same effect in breast cancer led to an increasing interest on the part of patients and physicians for using high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant instead of "standard" or lower-dose chemotherapy as part of the combined modality treatment for breast cancer. To learn more about the role high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant for the treatment of breast cancer select one of the following: