PURPOSE: The definition of locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) includes stage III breast cancer. In order to investigate the factors influencing on the final outcome we analysed the data of LABC patients that received neoadjuvant chemotherapy prior to definitive surgery. METHODS: 122 LABC patients, who underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy between 1980 and 1997, were included for the analysis. Clinical responses to neoadjuvant chemother apy were classified as complete response (CR), partial response (PR), and no response (NR). Overall survival (OS), Loco-regional relapse free survival (LRRFS), and distant relapse free survival (DRRFS) probabilities were investigated according to initial clinical stage, clinical response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and pathologic stage after neo adjuvant chemotherapy. Statistical analyses were performed with chi2-test, Kaplan-Meier, and Cox-regression methods using SPSS. RESULTS: The mean age at diagnosis was 47 years old (range 31~73) and median follow-up period was 61.6 months (range 3~227 months). Among 122 LABC patients, 69 (56.6%) were included in stage IIIA, 37 (30.3%) in stage IIIB, and 16 (13.1%) in IIIC at diagnosis. 10 patients (8.2%) have shown CR, 85 (69.7%) patients PR, and the remaining 27 (22.1%) patients showed NR. The overall response rate to neoadjuvant chemotherapy was 77.5%. However, only 51 (41.8%) were demonstrated to have pathologically down-staged results. There were 32 loco-regional recurrences and 59 distant metastases. All of the initial clinical stage, clinical response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and pathologic stage influenced the final outcome of 10 year OS, LRRFS, DRFS. However, in multivariate analysis pathologic stage after neoadjuvant chemotherapy was the most influencing factor on the final outcome. CONCLUSION: Pathologic stage after neoadjuvant chemotherapy could be the most important prognostic factor of the LABC.