ABSTRACT: Breast cancer is a disease of ageing. Functional independence in elderly patients, measured with the Katz activities of daily living (ADL) scale, predicts overall survival and the need for welfare support. Few prospective studies have examined the feasibility of adjuvant chemotherapy and its impact on autonomy in women over 70 years of age with high-risk breast cancer. This multicentre phase II trial was designed to assess the impact of adjuvant anthracycline-based chemotherapy on these patients' autonomy.
In a two-stage Fleming design, women aged ≥70 years with histologically proven hormone-receptor-negative early breast cancer and a significant risk of recurrence (pN+ or "high risk" pN0) received 4 cycles of nonpegylated liposomal doxorubicin 60 mg/m(2) and cyclophosphamide 600 mg/m(2) every 3 weeks postoperatively, on an outpatient basis. The primary endpoint was the change in the ADL score during chemotherapy. Secondary endpoints include comprehensive geriatric, quality-of-life and acceptability assessments, tolerability, and long-term outcome. The results for the primary endpoint and other scales at completion of adjuvant chemotherapy are reported here, while long-term follow-up is not yet complete.
Forty patients (median age 75 [70-82]) were enrolled between February 2006 and November 2007. Chemotherapy had no deleterious impact on ADL, cognition, mental status, or the frequency of comorbidities. In contrast, the number of patients at risk of malnutrition, based on the Mini Nutritional Assessment, more than doubled between baseline and the end of chemotherapy, rising from 15% to 38%. Quality-of-life deteriorated in terms of social and role functioning, likely owing to fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. Treatment acceptability was good. The main adverse effect was neutropenia, 15% of the patients experiencing febrile neutropenia. No cardiac toxicity or toxic deaths occurred.
This study demonstrates the feasibility of an adjuvant chemotherapy regimen combining nonpegylated liposomal doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide in fit elderly women <85 years with breast cancer. Although chemotherapy had an impact on social and role functioning, autonomy was not impaired and toxicity was acceptable. Special attention should be paid to nutritional status before and after treatment.
Critical reviews in oncology/hematology 10/2010; 80(1):160-70. · 5.27 Impact Factor