Introduction: Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. Currently, patients who respond to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) are treated with mastectomy and axillary lymph node dissection. This study aimed to synthesize real-world data to evaluate the feasibility of breast-conserving therapy (BCT), sentinel lymph node (SLN), and sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) for patients with IBC who respond to NAC. Methods: PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases were searched for relevant articles. Clinical studies that compared mastectomy with BCT for IBC treatment were reviewed. The primary outcomes were local recurrence rate and 5-y survival rate in patients with IBC who responded to NAC. Furthermore, the SLN detection rate and false-negative rate (FNR) for SLNB were also evaluated. Results: In the final analysis, 17 studies were included. The pooled estimates of the local recurrence rate for mastectomy and no surgical intervention were 18.6% and 15.9%, respectively (P = 0.956). Five-y survival was similar for mastectomy, partial mastectomy, and no surgical intervention (45.8%, 57.1%, and 39.4%, respectively). The pooled estimates of the SLN detection rate and FNR for SLNB were 81.9% and 21.8%, respectively. Conclusions: Among patients with IBC who respond to NAC, the local recurrence and 5-y survival rates in those undergoing BCT are noninferior to the rates in those undergoing mastectomy; therefore, BCT could be a feasible option for surgical management. However, a poor SLN detection rate and a high FNR were found in patients undergoing SLNB. Further large-scale clinical studies are required to confirm our findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-467
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Breast-conserving therapy
  • Inflammatory breast cancer
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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