403 - Quality of life and symptoms in breast cancer patients undergoing conventional chemotherapy

Date 28 September 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Publication Only
Topics Supportive Measures
Breast Cancer
Presenter Tatiana Nikitina
Authors T.P. Nikitina1, K.A. Kurbatova2, I.V. Rykov3, N.A. Polyakova4, L.V. Kindyanova5, A.M. Yermachenkova5, D.A. Fedorenko6, T.I. Ionova7
  • 1Oncology And Hematology Department, Multinational Center for Quality of Life Research, 191014 - St-Petersburg/RU
  • 2Dpartment Of Biostatistics, 1Multinational Center for Quality of Life Research, 191014 - St-Petersburg/RU
  • 3Department Of Oncology, The L.G. Sokolov Memorial Hospital №122, St-Petersburg/RU
  • 4Department Of Chemotherapy, Regional Oncological Center, Ivanovo/RU
  • 5Department Of Chemotherapy, Regional Clinical Oncological Center, Khabarovsk/RU
  • 6Hematology And Cellular Therapy, National Pirogov Medical Surgical Center, Moscow/RU
  • 7Department Of Oncology/hematology, Multinational Center for Quality of Life, St. Petersburg/RU


Quality of life (QoL) and symptom assessment are of increasing importance to evaluate treatment outcomes in breast cancer patients. We aimed to study feasibility of using standardized QoL and symptom assessment tools to determine benefits and risks of conventional chemotherapy (CT) in breast cancer patients. One hundred and seven breast cancer patients (Stages I-IV) were included in the study (58% patients with metastatic breast cancer). Mean age/SD – 53/10 y.o. All the patients underwent taxane based CT with the previous treatment including CT (89%), surgery (69%), radiotherapy (39%), hormone therapy (24%) or biotherapy (9%). QoL was assessed using generic QoL questionnaires, the SF-36 and the EQ-5D; symptoms – by using Comprehensive Symptom Profile in Patients with Breast Cancer (CSP-Br). The CSP-Br is a self-reported tool which allows to assess the severity of 57 symptoms specific for breast cancer patients. Distribution of patients according to the grades of QoL impairment was analyzed using the SF-36. For comparison of means at different time-points Wilcoxon's matched pairs test was used. The patients reported the usefulness of PROs tools to facilitate patient-physician communication. The following distribution of patients receiving taxane based CT according to the grades of QoL impairment was observed: 23% of patients had no QoL impairment; 15% patients - mild QoL impairment, 33% - moderate or severe QoL impairment, and 19% - critical QoL impairment. Health index measured by the EQ-5D decreased during the CT cycle and improved by the next CT cycle. The most prevalent and disturbing symptoms were the following: hair loss (>90%), fatigue, feeling of constant tiredness (>80%) and psychological symptoms (>70%). Definite deterioration of symptom profile and severity was observed in a week after CT cycle completion: the severity of 21 out of 47 symptoms increased significantly (p < 0.05). The usefulness of patient-reported outcome measures to distinguish patients in terms of QoL impairment as well as in terms of severity and number of symptoms experienced was demonstrated. The SF-36, EQ-5D and CSP-Br are robust and feasible tools to measure benefits and risks of breast cancer treatment from patient perspective.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.