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William J. Gradishar, MD, FACP, FASCO


ASCOBT 2023: Impact of Muscle Mass and Strength on Chemotherapy-Induced Toxicity in Breast Cancer

By: Joshua D. Madera, MD
Posted: Monday, August 28, 2023

It has been speculated that the low muscle mass and strength of cachexia in patients with early-stage breast cancer may increase their susceptibility to chemotherapy-induced toxicity, explained Andree Kurniawan, SpPD, of the Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, and colleagues. According to a presentation they gave at the 2023 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Breakthrough meeting (Abstract 9) in Yokohama, Japan, chemotherapy-induced toxicity also occurred in normal-weight and obese women, suggesting a clinical association between low muscle mass and strength and chemotherapy-induced toxicity.

A total of 72 patients with early-stage breast cancer were recruited for the study. Patients were stratified based on their weight as normal (n = 46) or obese (n = 26). Evaluation of muscle mass was performed using bioelectrical impedance analysis, and evaluation of muscle strength was assessed using hand grip strength testing. Chemotherapy-induced toxicity was identified using the guidelines outlined by the National Cancer Institute’s criteria for adverse events. Moreover, a multivariate analysis was performed using patients’ demographic factors, including additional comorbidities, diet intake, physical activity, menopause status, performance status, and chemotherapy regimens.

A total of 55.7% of patients demonstrated reduced muscle mass, and 39.3% of patients had reduced muscle strength. After completing the third cycle of chemotherapy, the relative risk of toxicity associated with low muscle mass and low muscle strength was 2.667 and 4.206, respectively. After the investigators adjusted for demographic factors, the odds ratios of these associations were 11 and 14.625, respectively.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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