Publications (2)18.37 Total impact
Article: Qualitative and quantitative assessment of taste and smell changes in patients undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer or gynecologic malignancies.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Smell and taste changes during chemotherapy are significant complaints of cancer patients. Loss of olfactory/gustatory function can lead to malnutrition, weight loss, and possibly a prolonged morbidity of chemotherapy-induced adverse effects, decreased quality of life, poor compliance, and even decreased therapy response. This prospective study comprehensively investigated, to our knowledge for the first time, smell and taste changes in a cohort of 87 patients undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer or gynecologic malignancies. Olfactory function was tested using Sniffin' Sticks (Burghart; Wedel, Germany) and gustatory function was tested using taste strips before, during, and immediately and 3 months after chemotherapy. Olfactory and gustatory function significantly decreased during chemotherapy and recovered almost completely 3 months after chemotherapy. Scores of odor thresholds were affected more than those of discrimination or identification. The olfactory function of older patients was affected more than that of younger patients. There was no difference in the olfactory function during chemotherapy with respect to the chemotherapeutic agent or initial diagnosis (breast or ovarian cancer). Regarding taste, scores of salty taste were affected more than scores of sweet, sour, or bitter taste. The gustatory function did not differ significantly during chemotherapy with respect to age or diagnosis but did differ with respect to the chemotherapeutic agent. Taxane-based chemotherapy caused the most severe disorders. Chemotherapy has a significant but transient effect on olfactory and gustatory function, possibly causing reduced appetite, a low energy intake, and weight loss. Additional spices and flavoring may compensate for this diminished chemosensory function, enhancing patient compliance and quality of life.Journal of Clinical Oncology 04/2009; 27(11):1899-905. · 18.37 Impact Factor
Article: Randomized Adjuvant Chemotherapy Trial in High-Risk, Lymph Node-Negative Breast Cancer Patients Identified by Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator and Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor Type 1[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Background: Most patients with lymph node-negative breast cancer are cured by locoregional treatment; however, about 30% relapse. Because traditional histomorphologic and clinical factors fail to identify the high-risk patients who may benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy, other prognostic factors are needed. In a unicenter study, we have found that levels of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) in the primary tumor are predictive of disease recurrence. Thus, we designed the Chemo N 0 prospective randomized multicenter therapy trial to investigate further whether uPA and PAI-1 are such prognostic factors and whether high-risk patients identified by these factors benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy. After 4.5 years, we present results of the first interim analysis. Methods: We studied 556 patients with lymph node-negative breast cancer. The median follow-up was 32 months. All patients with low tumor levels of uPA (≤3 ng/mg of protein) and of PAI-1 (≤14 ng/mg of protein) were observed. Patients with high tumor levels of uPA (>3 ng/mg of protein) and/or of PAI-1 (>14 ng/mg of protein) were randomly assigned to combination chemotherapy or subjected to observation only. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results: A total of 241 patients had low levels of uPA and PAI-1, and 315 had elevated levels of uPA and/or PAI-1. The estimated 3-year recurrence rate for patients with low tumor levels of uPA and PAI-1 (low-risk group) was 6.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.5% to 10.8%). This rate for patients with high tumor levels of uPA and/or PAI-1 (high-risk group) was 14.7% (95% CI = 8.5% to 20.9%) ( P = .006). First interim analysis suggests that high-risk patients in the chemotherapy group benefit, with a 43.8% lower estimated probability of disease recurrence at 3 years than high-risk patients in the observation group (intention-to-treat analysis: relative risk = 0.56; 95% CI = 0.25 to 1.28), but further follow-up is needed for confirmation. Conclusions: Using uPA and PAI-1, we have been able to classify about half of the patients with lymph node-negative breast cancer as low risk, for whom adjuvant chemotherapy may be avoided, and half as high risk, who appear to benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy.