The response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patients is usually assessed by pCR and RCB score. However, the prognostic value of these parameters is still in discussion. We showed recently that an epirubicin/docetaxel therapy is associated with an increase in the cell death marker highmobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1) in the circulation. Here, we investigate whether this increase correlates with the longterm outcome. Thirtysix early breast cancer patients under neoadjuvant epirubicin/docetaxel combination chemotherapy were included in this study. To determine the immediate effect of this treatment on HMGB1, we collected blood samples before and 2496 h after the initial dose. This time course was then compared to the 5year followup of the patients. HMGB1 levels varied before chemotherapy between 4.1 and 11.3 ng/mL and reacted differently in response to therapy. Some patients showed an increase while others did not show any changes. Therefore, we subdivided the patient collective into two groups: patients with an at least 1.1 ng/mL increase in HMGB1 and patients with smaller changes. The diseasefree survival was longer in the HMGB1 increase group (56.2 months vs. 46.6 months), but this difference did not reach significance. The overall survival (OS) was significantly better in patients with an increase in HMGB1 (log rank P = 0.021). These data suggest that an immediate increase in HMGB1 levels correlates with improved outcome in early breast cancer patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and may be a valuable complementary biomarker for early estimation of prognosis.