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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2006 Jul;54(7):1119-24.

A prospective, longitudinal study of the functional status and quality of life of older patients with breast cancer receiving adjuvant chemotherapy.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA. hurriaa@mskcc.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To examine the toxicity experienced by a cohort of older women receiving adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer and the longitudinal effect on their functional status and quality of life (QOL).

DESIGN:

A geriatric assessment measuring functional status, comorbidity, mood, nutritional status, and QOL was performed before chemotherapy, at the end of chemotherapy, and 6 months later.

SETTING:

This prospective longitudinal study was conducted at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.

PARTICIPANTS:

Fifty patients aged 65 and older with Stage I to III breast cancer receiving any adjuvant chemotherapy; 49 were evaluable.

MEASUREMENTS:

The chemotherapy regimen and the toxicity to chemotherapy were recorded. A geriatric assessment was performed before the start of chemotherapy, on completion of chemotherapy, and 6 months after completion of chemotherapy. QOL testing was performed at the same times.

RESULTS:

Patients (mean age 68, range 65-84) received an anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimen (n=15) or cyclophosphamide 600 mg/m2 intravenously (i.v.), methotrexate 40 mg/m2 i.v., 5-fluorouracil 600 mg/m2 i.v. every 3 weeks for eight cycles (n=34). Grade 3 or 4 toxicity occurred in 53% (n=26), hematological toxicity in 27% (n=13), and nonhematological toxicity in 31% (n=15). Despite toxicity, there was no significant longitudinal change in functional status or QOL.

CONCLUSION:

Despite toxicity from adjuvant chemotherapy, this cohort of relatively young older patients maintained their functional status and QOL from before chemotherapy to 6 months postchemotherapy. Subtle changes in higher-order functioning would require assessment using different geriatric assessment tools.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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