[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer-related fatigue greatly influences quality of life in cancer patients; however, no specific treatments have been established for cancer-related fatigue, and at present, no medication has been approved in Japan. Systematic research using patient-reported outcome to examine symptoms, particularly fatigue, has not been conducted in palliative care settings in Japan. The objective was to evaluate fatigue, pain, and quality of life in cancer patients at the point of intervention by palliative care teams.
Patients who were referred to palliative care teams at three institutions and met the inclusion criteria were invited to complete the Brief Fatigue Inventory, Brief Pain Inventory, and European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 15-Palliative.
Of 183 patients recruited, the majority (85.8%) were diagnosed with recurrence or metastasis. The largest group (42.6%) comprised lung cancer patients, of whom 67.2% had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status of 0-1. The mean value for global health status/quality of life was 41.4, and the highest mean European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-Core 15-Palliative symptom item score was for pain (51.0). The mean global fatigue score was 4.1, and 9.8%, 30.6%, 38.7%, and 20.8% of patients' fatigue severity was classified as none (score 0), mild (1-3), moderate (4-6), and severe (7-10), respectively.
Cancer-related fatigue, considered to occur more frequently in cancer patients, was successfully assessed using patient-reported outcomes with the Brief Fatigue Inventory for the first time in Japan. Results suggested that fatigue is potentially as problematic as pain, which is the main reason for palliative care.
PLoS ONE 08/2015; 10(8):e0134022. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0134022 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is one of the most common symptoms reported by cancer patients. This randomized trial investigated the efficacy of the amino acid jelly Inner Power(®) (IP), a semi-solid, orally administrable dietary supplement containing coenzyme Q10 and L-carnitine, in controlling CRF in breast cancer patients in Japan.
Breast cancer patients with CRF undergoing chemotherapy were randomly assigned to receive IP once daily or regular care for 21 days. The primary endpoint was the change in the worst level of fatigue during the past 24 h (Brief Fatigue Inventory [BFI] item 3 score) from day 1 (baseline) to day 22. Secondary endpoints were change in global fatigue score (GFS; the average of all BFI items), anxiety and depression assessed by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), quality of life assessed by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) and EORTC Breast Cancer-Specific QLQ (EORTC QLQ-BR23), and adverse events.
Fifty-nine patients were enrolled in the study, of whom 57 were included in the efficacy analysis. Median patient age was 50 years. Changes in the worst level of fatigue, GFS, and current feeling of fatigue were significantly different between the intervention and control groups, whereas the change in the average feeling of fatigue was not significantly different between groups. HADS, EORTC QLQ-C30, and EORTC QLQ-BR23 scores were not significantly different between the two groups. No severe adverse events were observed.
IP may control moderate-severe CRF in breast cancer patients.
The registration number of this study in the University Hospital Medical Information Network Clinical Trials Registry (UMIN-CTR) is UMIN000008646.
Supportive Care in Cancer 06/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00520-015-2824-4 · 2.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Capecitabine and S-1 are orally administered fluorinated pyrimidines with high-level activity against metastatic breast cancer (MBC). This randomized, multicenter, phase II study compared the activities and safeties of the oral fluoropyrimidines, capecitabine and S-1, in breast cancer patients.
Patients with MBC were randomly assigned to receive capecitabine 825 g/m(2) twice daily on days 1-21 every 4 weeks or S-1 40-60 mg twice daily, according to body surface area, on days 1-28 every 6 weeks. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS).
A total of 142 patients were enrolled and randomized to either capecitabine (N = 73) or S-1 (N = 69). Median PFS (progression-free survival) was 1.2 years for capecitabine and 1.3 years for S-1, with a hazard ratio (S-1/capecitabine) of 0.85 (95 % confidence interval [CI] 0.52-1.38) (P = 0.48 by log-rank). The confirmed objective response rates were 24.0 % for capecitabine and 23.1 % for S-1 (P = 0.938). The most common treatment-related adverse events were grade 1-2 in intensity. Thrombocytopenia (S-1: 9.2 %, capecitabine: 1.4 %; P = 0.040) and nausea (S-1: 26.2 %, capecitabine: 14.1 %; P = 0.079) were more frequent in the S-1 group, while hand-foot syndrome occurred more often in the capecitabine group (S-1: 10.8 %, capecitabine: 25.4 %; P = 0.029).
The results of the current study demonstrate that both S-1 and capecitabine are effective and well-tolerated treatments in patients with MBC, while their adverse events were different. They are both convenient, orally administered drugs, making them attractive agents for use in outpatient treatment.
Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 04/2015; 75(6). DOI:10.1007/s00280-015-2738-3 · 2.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tube feeding or hydration is often considered for end-of-life cancer patients despite the negative effects on quality of life. The efficacy of oral nutritional support in this setting is unknown. We conducted a randomized trial to compare the efficacies of an amino acid jelly, Inner Power® (IP), and a liquid enteral product, Ensure Liquid® (EL), in terminally ill cancer patients. We randomly assigned patients to 3 arms: EL, IP, and EL+IP. The primary endpoint was drip infusion in vein (DIV)-free survival, which was defined as the duration from nutritional support initiation to administration of parenteral hydration. Twenty-seven patients were enrolled in the study, of whom 21 were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. The median age of the subjects was 69 yr. There were significant differences between the arms with regard to the median DIV-free survival (0.5, 6.0, and 4.5 days in the EL, IP, and EL + IP arms, respectively; P = 0.05). The median overall survival was 7, 9, and 8 days in the EL, IP, and EL + IP arms, respectively. IP may shorten the duration of parenteral hydration in terminally ill cancer patients and does not affect their survival.
Nutrition and Cancer 12/2014; 67(1):1-7. DOI:10.1080/01635581.2015.976312 · 2.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
It is expected that cell-free and concentrated ascites reinfusion therapy (CART) will relieve the symptoms caused by ascites. To date, however, no report of objective changes in patients’ symptoms has been published. We have therefore evaluated symptom management by CART.
From April 2011 to July 2012, 37 patients at our hospital, most of whom had malignancies, received CART. Symptom severity was evaluated in each patient 24 h before and after the first CART procedure using a numerical rating scale for abdominal tension and the Japanese version of the M. D. Anderson Symptom Inventory (MDASI-J) for various symptoms.
CART significantly improved the scores for abdominal tension and the symptom and interference scores of the MDASI-J within 24 h of the procedure. The abdominal tension scores decreased from 7.19 to 3.81 (p
International Journal of Clinical Oncology 09/2014; 20(3). DOI:10.1007/s10147-014-0750-y · 2.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With the shift of a large proportion of cancer chemotherapy recipients to ambulatory care, the role of hospital pharmacists has changed, and their provision of information is essential care for cancer patients. There is little research on pharmacist-patient relations, particularly about pharmacist counselling, in Japan. To meet patients' needs, pharmacist counselling should be optimized. Here, breast cancer patients' preferences for pharmacist counselling were assessed using a discrete choice experiment. Bayesian nonlinear optimal methodology was employed to obtain six attributes (attitude of pharmacist, quality of information, explanation of side effects, frequency of pharmacist counselling before starting chemotherapy, cost of pharmacist counselling, and follow-up with the pharmacist after starting chemotherapy) of two to three levels each. The attributes and levels were used to create 12 hypothetical scenarios that were divided into two questionnaires of six choice sets each. Two hundred eighty participants were randomly assigned to complete one of these questionnaires (blocks). Attributes were analyzed by conditional logit model to determine significant predictors of patient preferences. The responses of 278 patients to 1667 scenarios were analyzed. Attitude of pharmacist, quality of information, cost of pharmacist counselling, and follow-up with the pharmacist after starting chemotherapy were significant predictors of patient preferences, with quality of information receiving the highest priority. Thus patients receiving pharmacist counselling before starting chemotherapy prefer to interact with a pharmacist with a friendly, interested attitude who provides individualized information. Further research is needed to elucidate the information that Japanese patients consider most important and to enhance pharmacist-patient communication.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For clinically node negative (N0) breast cancer patients, sentinel node (SN) biopsy (SNB) is a standard technique and complete axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) remains the standard treatment when the SN is positive. However, the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group Z0011 trial and the International Breast Cancer Study Group 23-01 trial showed that SNB without ALND can offer excellent regional control and equal survival compared with ALND for limited macrometastatic and micrometastatic SN involvement, respectively. We retrospectively evaluated axillary control rates in clinically N0 patients who had no axillary surgical treatment.
Data on 158 patients who underwent breast-conserving therapy without any axillary surgical procedure between 1994 and 2010 were extracted. The last follow-up was on May 2013, and the overall median follow-up period was 119.0 months.
Of all 158 patients, 10 (6.3 %) and 3 (1.9 %) developed locoregional and axillary recurrences, respectively. The 10-year locoregional and axillary recurrence rates were 5.8 and 2.1 %, respectively. The 5- and 10-year overall survival rates were 94.0 and 84.8 %, respectively. Cases with axillary recurrence tended to have common risk factors for recurrence.
Even if SNB and ALND were omitted, local and regional recurrence rates were very low among clinically N0 patients and were at the same levels shown in recent trials. This suggests that at least ALND might be safely avoided in clinically N0 patients without any obvious risk factors regardless of axillary nodal status after SNB.
Breast Cancer 04/2014; 22(6). DOI:10.1007/s12282-014-0532-4 · 1.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell-Free and Concentrated Ascites Reinfusion Therapy (CART) is expected to improve patients' symptoms related to ascites. Use of a patient's own proteins in ascites might reduce the risk of infection. However, several reports have described that reinfusion of concentrated ascites might elevate body temperature. The aim of this study is to examine the safety and efficacy of the CART system performed exclusively on patients with malignancies. In this retrospective cohort observational study, we examined 81 CART processes performed on 24 patients with malignancies. Data were collected from medical records and records during processing of ascites. We investigated the effectiveness and adverse events during the procedures. The amount of ascites processed was 2.6 ± 1.4 L on average. The concentration ratio was 9.31 ± 5.45 on average. We found an increase in the urine volume after the procedure, which was significantly related to the amount of reinfused protein. The body temperature increased by 0.44°C. Systolic blood pressure decreased by 4 mm Hg after paracentesis, but no significant difference was found between the pressure before paracentesis and after reinfusion. In platelet counts, no significant change was observed. After all, no clinically significant adverse event was confirmed during CART procedures. Results show that CART can be performed safely even on patients with malignancy-related ascites and that the procedure might improve diuresis.
Therapeutic apheresis and dialysis: official peer-reviewed journal of the International Society for Apheresis, the Japanese Society for Apheresis, the Japanese Society for Dialysis Therapy 02/2014; 18(1):87-92. DOI:10.1111/1744-9987.12049 · 1.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Objectives: Anthracyclines and taxanes are often used as first-line chemotherapy treatments in patients with breast cancer. There are, however, significant toxicity and side effects associated with these therapies. Previous studies have demonstrated that active hexose-correlated compound (AHCC) reduces such side effects. The present study explored the beneficial effects of AHCC on adverse events in patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. Subjects: Forty-one women who were treated with anthracyclines and taxanes at Nagumo Clinic in Tokyo from October 2004 to March 2011 were selected for this study. Outcome measures: We compared the occurrence of adverse events in patients who received AHCC with those who did not receive AHCC. Using Fisher's exact tests, we also compared the worst-grade adverse events in each treatment cycle. Generalized estimating equations were employed to compare longitudinal changes, and the use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, in the two groups was analyzed using Student's t-test. Results: We found that, compared to the control group, the AHCC group had significantly fewer neutrophil-related events (odds ratio, 0.30; p=0.016), significantly lower use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, and a higher (although not significant) rate of adverse events associated with γ-glutamyl transpeptidase. Conclusions: AHCC has the potential to reduce the severity of neutropenia induced by breast cancer chemotherapy and the use of G-CSF during chemotherapy.
Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) 07/2013; 19(11). DOI:10.1089/acm.2012.0914 · 1.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Kampo medicines are traditional Japanese medicines produced from medicinal plants and herbs. Even though the efficacy of Kampo medicines for controlling cancer-related symptoms is being reported, their actual nationwide clinical use has not been comprehensively investigated. We aimed to investigate physicians’ recognition of Kampo medicines and their clinical use for cancer patients in the field of palliative care.
A cross-sectional self-administered anonymous questionnaire was distributed to 549 physicians working in palliative care teams at 388 core cancer treatment hospitals and 161 certified medical institutions that have palliative care units (PCUs).
Valid responses were obtained from 311 physicians (response rate, 56.7%) who were evenly distributed throughout the country without significant geographical biases. Kampo medicines were prescribed for controlling cancer-related symptoms by 64.3% of the physicians. The symptoms treated with Kampo medicines were numbness/hypoesthesia (n = 99, 49.5%), constipation (n = 76, 38.0%), anorexia/weight loss (n = 72, 36%), muscle cramps (n = 71, 35.5%) and languor/fatigue (n = 64, 32.0%). Regarding open issues about prescription, 60.7% (n = 173) of the physicians raised the issue that the dosage forms need to be better devised.
To increase the clinical use of Kampo medicines, more evidence from clinical studies is necessary. In addition, their mechanisms of action should be clarified through laboratory studies.
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 11/2012; 12(1):222. DOI:10.1186/1472-6882-12-222 · 2.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brain metastases from breast cancer occur in 20%-40% of patients, and the frequency has increased over time. New radiosensitizers and cytotoxic or cytostatic agents, and innovative techniques of drug delivery are still under investigation.
Five patients with brain metastases who did not respond to whole-brain radiotherapy and then received bevacizumab combined with paclitaxel were identified using our database of records between 2011 and 2012. The clinicopathological data and outcomes for these patients were then reviewed.
The median time to disease progression was 86 days. Of five patients, two (40%) achieved a partial response, two had stable disease, and one had progressive disease. In addition, one patient with brain metastases had ptosis and diplopia due to metastases of the right extraocular muscles. However, not only the brain metastases, but also the ptosis and diplopia began to disappear after 1 month of treatment. The most common treatment-related adverse events (all grades) were hypertension (60%), neuropathy (40%), and proteinuria (20%). No grade 3 toxicity was seen. No intracranial hemorrhage was observed.
We present five patients with breast cancer and brain metastases, with benefits from systemic chemotherapy when combined with bevacizumab.
OncoTargets and Therapy 09/2012; 5:185-9. DOI:10.2147/OTT.S36515 · 2.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to pilot test the effectiveness of using recently developed clinical guidelines from Australia for conducting palliative care family meetings in Japan. METHODS: Palliative care family meetings were conducted using clinical guidelines with 15 primary family carers of cancer patients who were admitted to an acute care hospital in Japan. Using the pre-family meeting questionnaire, the primary carers were asked to write key concerns to discuss during the family meetings and rate their concerns via a numerical rating scale: how upset/worried they were about the problem, frequency in which problem occurs, life interference with the problem, and the confidence to deal with the problem. Within 3 days after the meeting, the primary carers were asked to complete the post-meeting questionnaire to evaluate the effectiveness of the family meeting. RESULTS: There was a significant improvement in family carers' psychological well-being in the post-meeting questionnaires compared to the pre-meeting questionnaires as follows: how upset/worried they were about the problem, t(14) = 3.1071, p < 0.000011; frequency in which problem occurs, t(14) = 3.2857, p < 0.000013; life interference with the problem, t(14) = 2.7857, p < 0.000008; and the confidence to deal with the problem, t(13) = -2.3007, p < 0.005480. CONCLUSIONS: In accordance with the study aims, we were able to demonstrate the utility of a questionnaire as an essential tool to plan and conduct effective communication between health professionals and primary family carers in Japanese cancer patients. This pilot test should be followed up with a larger sample and a controlled trial.
Supportive Care in Cancer 05/2012; 21(1). DOI:10.1007/s00520-012-1491-y · 2.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although pharmacist counseling assumes an important role in the clinical setting, oncology pharmacy practitioners worldwide currently lack adequate guidance. This study aimed to identify the determinants and causal relationships that affect quality of life (QOL) in breast cancer patients before adjuvant systemic therapy for improving pharmacist counseling and guidance. This study analyzed 93 postoperative patients with breast cancer before pharmacist counseling for adjuvant systemic therapy. Patients were asked to complete questionnaires to assess QOL (the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 [EORTC QLQ-C30] and its breast cancer module [EORTC QLQ-BR23]) before pharmacist counseling. We analyzed factors affecting QOL by stepwise multiple linear regression analysis and evaluated causal association using path analysis. In the multiple linear regression model using variables selected by stepwise analysis, the factors affecting global health status (GHS)/QOL included fatigue, emotional functioning, systemic therapy side effects, future perspectives, and appetite loss. In the path analysis model, GHS/QOL were strongly influenced by fatigue directly; and emotional functioning, directly and indirectly via other factors. Our results indicated that fatigue and emotional functioning are strong factors affecting QOL. These factors may be able to predict poor QOL before initiating adjuvant systemic therapy. Thus, our findings suggest that these factors may be potentially useful for pharmacist counseling at the beginning of adjuvant systemic therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We reported that doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (DC) followed by weekly paclitaxel is an active and manageable preoperative regimen for breast cancer patients. However, as one of the side effects of paclitaxel, neuropathy was noted in up to 30% of patients. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and its derived prostaglandins play a role in stimulating angiogenesis, inhibiting apoptosis, and suppressing the immune response. Some recent studies showed that COX-2 inhibitors, such as meloxicam, have the potential to enhance tumor suppression and reduce the severity of paclitaxel-induced neuropathy.
Four cycles of DC (doxorubicin: 60 mg/m(2) and cyclophosphamide: 600 mg/m(2)) administered intravenously (i.v.) on day 1 every 21 days were followed by 12 cycles of paclitaxel i.v. (80 mg/m(2)) every 7 days, prior to surgery. During paclitaxel therapy, breast cancer patients were administered meloxicam (10 mg per day) daily, when experiencing symptoms of grade 2 neuropathy (motor or sensory). The primary endpoint was the pCR rate achieved with the treatment.
Forty-three patients received preoperative chemotherapy between April 2004 and March 2007 at six centers. The patient population was identified from a database of the Japan Breast Cancer Research Network. Clinical responses were rated as clinically complete response (cCR) in 9 patients (22%), clinically partial response (cPR) in 25 patients (59%), and clinically stable disease (cSD) in 9 patients (19%). pCR was seen in 25.6%. In addition, we identified 15 patients, who developed grade 2 neuropathy during paclitaxel therapy and subsequently received meloxicam. Meloxicam application had a marked effect within 28 days of initiation. The sensory neuropathy of the patients was reduced gradually, but their motor neuropathy did not improve. Five out of the 15 patients with neuropathy experienced symptom improvement after meloxicam treatment (p<0.05; before versus after 2 months of meloxicam administration). Furthermore, among the 15 patients, who received meloxicam, clinical responses were rated as cCR in 2 patients, cPR in 4 patients, and cSD in 9 patients. The pCR was seen in 4 patients (26.7%).
Although meloxicam in combination with DC and weekly paclitaxel chemotherapy did not show promising therapeutic activity, it may provide some relief for neuropathy.
Anticancer research 10/2011; 31(10):3567-71. · 1.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) is one of the main strategies for patients with locally advanced breast cancer. In our previous study, biological markers such as estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PgR), and HER2 were essential predictors of the effectiveness of NAC to help individualize treatment. This study examined the effect of NAC on the disease-free survival (DFS) of breast cancer patients. Furthermore, the study was expanded by adding Ki-67 as a biological marker, and examined the correlation between Ki-67 and the prognosis.
Between September 2005 and September 2007, 43 patients with breast cancer received NAC and surgery. Four cycles of DC (doxorubicin: 60 mg/m(2) and cyclophosphamide: 500 mg/m(2)) were administered intravenously (i.v.) on day 1 every 21 days, followed by 12 cycles of paclitaxel i.v. (80 mg/m(2)) every 7 days, prior to surgery. The primary endpoint was the pathological complete response (pCR) rate and the secondary endpoint was DFS; the pCR rate was estimated for each groups stratified by the presence or absence of different factors (PcR, ER/PgR, and Ki-67).
The clinical response (cCR+cPR) rate was 81.0%, and the pCR rate was 25.6%. The pCR rate was 75, 50, 9 and 0% in HER2(+)/ER(-), HER2(+)/ER(+), HER2(-)/ER(-), and HER2(-)/ER(+) patients, respectively. The 4-year DFS rate was estimated at 78% for all patients. The HER2 status was an independent predictor of pathological complete response (pCR). The DFS rate of patients with lower Ki-67 values (<15%) was higher than that of patients with higher Ki-67 values (≥15%). The treatment-related adverse events were manageable: the majority were mild, but five patients experienced grade 3 (neutropenia and sensory neuropathy) adverse events.
DC followed by weekly paclitaxel is an active and manageable preoperative regimen for breast cancer patients. HER2 overexpression may be a good predictive marker of pCR, and the Ki-67 value after NAC may be a prognostic factor for DFS.
Anticancer research 04/2011; 31(4):1483-7. · 1.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A palliative care team provides palliative care in the hospital setting.However, palliative care might be discontinued when a patient was switched to an outpatient from an inpatient or when a patient was being transferred to another hospital.In the present work, we report a case who could receive anti-cancer therapy and palliative care simultaneously at home.The case is a 46-year-old woman.She was diagnosed as left ovary cancer in 1990's and underwent an operation followed by chemotherapy. The tumor relapsed and invaded the sigmoid colon in 2000's.She then developed an intestinal obstruction and was hospitalized.After her conditions were stabilized, she was discharged but still needed a high degree of medical interventions. She was introduced to another hospital providing a home palliative care as well as emergency admission.She could fulfill her desire to receive a palliative care and chemotherapy simultaneously at home through this seamless healthcare linkage.It should be insisted that hospital oncologists and home doctors need to acquire the knowledge of palliative care and close cooperation between them is required.It is also important to establish a comprehensive healthcare linkage system in the society.
Gan to kagaku ryoho. Cancer & chemotherapy 12/2010; 37 Suppl 2:253-5.