Type of publication:
*Choudhary Y.; *Pettit L.; *Khanduri S.
European Journal of Surgical Oncology; Mar 2018; vol. 44
Background: Breast cancer incidence among the over 70’s is increasing. Trial data from this age group is not as extensive when compared with younger patients. Co-morbidities are common and may lead to poor tolerance of chemotherapy. Cytotoxic chemotherapy usage in patients over 70 was audited to record toxicity and tolerability.Method: Patients aged >70 years, diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 01/01/2015 and 31/12/2015 treated with cytotoxic chemotherapy at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust were identified from the Somerset database. Clinical information was obtained from an electronic portal. Data collected: demographics, performance status, tumour characteristics, ER/PR and HER2 status, chemotherapy regimen, treatment intent, number of chemotherapy cycles planned, number given, toxicities, and hospital admissions. Data was collected on an excel database.Results: Thirty patients were identified, all female. 26 were between 71 and 75, 2 were between 76 and 80, 2 > 80 years. 20 patients (67%) ER/PR receptor positive. 15 (50%) HER2 positive. The majority 29 (97%) had a performance status of 0/1. Cardiovascular co-morbidities were the most common (57% pre-existing cardiovascular disease). 25 (83%) were treated with adjuvant intent. 15 (50%) were admitted to hospital, 6 (20%) with neutropenic sepsis. 12 (40%) had dose reductions. 21 (70%) completed their planned number of cycles. Chemotherapy was discontinued in 7 (23%) due to toxicity and 1 patient remains on treatment at the time of this audit. There were no patient deaths within 30 days of commencing chemotherapy.Conclusion: Chemotherapy usage in the >70’s was associated with higher risk breast cancer. Despite good baseline performance status, 50% of patients required hospital admission and 27% discontinued treatment due to toxicity. The decision to use chemotherapy must also account for potential toxicities and impact on quality of life. Increased contact with health professionals including tele-consults and increased specialist nurse support, will help to predict and manage toxicity and reduce admissions.