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PLoS One. 2010 Jan 28;5(1):e8933. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008933.

The average body surface area of adult cancer patients in the UK: a multicentre retrospective study.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology, Merseyside, United Kingdom.


The majority of chemotherapy drugs are dosed based on body surface area (BSA). No standard BSA values for patients being treated in the United Kingdom are available on which to base dose and cost calculations. We therefore retrospectively assessed the BSA of patients receiving chemotherapy treatment at three oncology centres in the UK between 1(st) January 2005 and 31(st) December 2005.A total of 3613 patients receiving chemotherapy for head and neck, ovarian, lung, upper GI/pancreas, breast or colorectal cancers were included. The overall mean BSA was 1.79 m(2) (95% CI 1.78-1.80) with a mean BSA for men of 1.91 m(2) (1.90-1.92) and 1.71 m(2) (1.70-1.72) for women. Results were consistent across the three centres. No significant differences were noted between treatment in the adjuvant or palliative setting in patients with breast or colorectal cancer. However, statistically significant, albeit small, differences were detected between some tumour groups.In view of the consistency of results between three geographically distinct UK cancer centres, we believe the results of this study may be generalised and used in future costings and budgeting for new chemotherapy agents in the UK.

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