P-148 - The impact of comorbidities in deciding the first dose of chemotherapy in gastrointestinal tumours

Date 04 July 2015
Event WorldGI 2015
Session Posters
Topics Anticancer Agents
Cancer in Special Situations
Gastrointestinal Cancers
Biological Therapy
Presenter E. Una Cidon
Citation Annals of Oncology (2015) 26 (suppl_4): 1-100. 10.1093/annonc/mdv233
Authors E. Una Cidon1, P. Alonso2, J. Bennet3
  • 1NHS Foundation Trust, Bournemouth/UK
  • 2Clinical University Hospital, Valladolid/ES
  • 3Royal Bournemouth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Bournemouth/UK



The treatment of patients with cancer and comorbidities could be challenging as these patients are not represented in clinical trials. We carried out a study to evaluate the relevance of the comorbidities in deciding the first cycle dose of chemotherapy and the patients' tolerance and compliance in gastrointestinal tumours.


We included cancer patients who had at least two different comorbidities and at least one involving main organs such as respiratory, cardiac, liver, cerebrovascular or renal comorbidities. All the patients included were about to start a first line of palliative chemotherapy for metastatic cancer.


We studied 197 patients who met the inclusion criteria. 102 men / 95 women. 165 older than 65 years. The use of chemotherapy was modified either in the number of drugs administered or in the schedule or dosage for the first cycle. Most of these patients received only monotherapy (62%) and those who received a combination of drugs received a dose reduction of each drug by 20% if the comorbidities were under control or by 50% if they were impacting on daily activities.

Generally the tolerance was acceptable with low rate of grade 3 toxicities (5%) especially thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, fatigue or diarrhoea.

In those patients who did not experience any toxicity grade 2 or above, the dose was increase one step (25%) for the second cycle onwards. By using this method we did achieve good compliance with the treatment.

We are now evaluating the PFS and OS in this population.


Chemotherapy use and compliance among cancer patients with comorbidities are generally inferior to healthy population due to the expected toxicities. This will impact on survival. However, if the compliance is improved, this might have a positive impact on patients' survival. Our study suggests that by using the first cycle dose reduced chemotherapy and then reassessing again we have kept compliance. We need further studies to evaluate if this has got an impact on survival.