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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Weight change during chemotherapy changes the prognosis in non metastatic breast cancer for the worse

Emilie Thivat12*, Sophie Thérondel3, Olivier Lapirot1, Catherine Abrial12, Pierre Gimbergues4, Emilie Gadéa1, Eloïse Planchat12, Fabrice Kwiatkowski1, Marie A Mouret-Reynier23, Philippe Chollet123 and Xavier Durando23

Author affiliations

1 Division of Clinical Research, Centre Jean Perrin, Clermont-Ferrand, F-63011 France; University Clermont 1, UFR Médecine, Clermont-Ferrand, F-63001 France; Centre d'Investigation Clinique, Clermont-Ferrand, F-63001 France

2 UMR 990 INSERM/UdA, Clermont-Ferrand, F-63000 France

3 Oncology department, Centre Jean Perrin, Clermont-Ferrand, F-63011 France; University Clermont 1, UFR Médecine, Clermont-Ferrand, F-63001 France; Centre d'Investigation Clinique, Clermont-Ferrand, F-63001 France

4 Surgery department, Centre Jean Perrin, Clermont-Ferrand, F-63011 France; University Clermont 1, UFR Médecine, Clermont-Ferrand, F-63001 France; Centre d'Investigation Clinique, Clermont-Ferrand, F-63001 France

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Citation and License

BMC Cancer 2010, 10:648  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-648

Published: 25 November 2010

Abstract

Background

Weight change during chemotherapy is reported to be associated with a worse prognosis in breast cancer patients, both with weight gain and weight loss. However, most studies were conducted prior to the common use of anthracycline-base chemotherapy and on North American populations with a mean BMI classified as overweight. Our study was aimed to evaluate the prognostic value of weight change during anthracycline-based chemotherapy on non metastatic breast cancer (European population) with a long term follow-up.

Methods

Patients included 111 women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and locally advanced breast cancer who have been treated by anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimen between 1976 and 1989. The relative percent weight variation (WV) between baseline and postchemotherapy treatment was calculated and categorized into either weight change (WV > 5%) or stable (WV < 5%). The median follow-up was 20.4 years [19.4 - 27.6]. Cox proportional hazard models were used to evaluate any potential association of weight change and known prognostic factors with the time to recurrence and overall survival.

Results

Baseline BMI was 24.4 kg/m2 [17.1 - 40.5]. During chemotherapy treatment, 31% of patients presented a notable weight variation which was greater than 5% of their initial weight.

In multivariate analyses, weight change (> 5%) was positively associated with an increased risk of both recurrence (RR 2.28; 95% CI: 1.29-4.03) and death (RR 2.11; 95% CI: 1.21-3.66).

Conclusions

Our results suggest that weight change during breast-cancer chemotherapy treatment may be related to poorer prognosis with higher reccurence and higher mortality in comparison to women who maintained their weight.