The Impact of Weight Change During and After Post-Operative Chemotherapy on Breast Cancer Control in Node-Positive Patients Treated With Trimodality Therapy

  •  Joshua Johnson    
  •  Bianca Lamb    
  •  Andrew Mills    
  •  Patricia L Watkins    
  •  Vijay Chaudhary    
  •  Jayaram Bharadwaj    
  •  Tarek A. Dufan    
  •  John Watkins    


Objective: The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether an association exists between post-operative chemotherapy weight change and breast cancer control and survival, specifically within a high-risk population of women with node-positive breast cancer diagnosed and treated in the contemporary setting.

Methods: A retrospective investigation with the following eligibility criteria: women who underwent primary surgical therapy for invasive breast cancer, were found to have pathologic evidence of nodal involvement, and were treated with adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Demographic, tumor-, and treatment-related data were recorded and analyzed for association with disease control and survival outcomes. The post-operative/pre-chemotherapy weight and BMI served as the baseline comparator for future weight/BMI changes.

Results: From January 2004 through December 2008, 52 patients were identified for inclusion. At a median follow-up of 77.2 months (range 19.9–119.4, with 85% followed >5 years), 8 patients experienced disease recurrence and 7 patients had died (3 with recurrent disease). Analysis of factors associated with study endpoints identified absolute weight and BMI change at 1, 3, and 4 years post-chemotherapy completion as significantly inversely associated with overall survival, but not associated with freedom from failure. Additionally, a statistically significant association between number of lymph nodes involved and freedom from failure was identified.

Conclusion: This investigation did not detect statistically significant associations between weight or BMI change during chemotherapy and disease control or survival within this high-risk population, while the number of lymph nodes involved was directly related to risk of disease failure. Weight change at intervals following chemotherapy completion demonstrated some association with overall survival.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-4858
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-4866
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: semiannual

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