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New Tool Predicts Chemotherapy Toxicity In Breast Cancer Patients

by Pooja Shete on January 25, 2021 at 9:08 PM
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New Tool Predicts Chemotherapy Toxicity In Breast Cancer Patients

In older adults with early-stage breast cancer, a new tool has been developed to predict the risk of severe chemotherapy toxicity, which outperforms the existing models. The tool will help older patients and physicians make treatment decisions with more confidence.

The tool called the Cancer and Aging Research Group- Breast Cancer (CARG-BC) score was devised and tested in two groups of patients aged 65 or older and having stage I-III breast cancer. The CARG-BC performed better than Karnofsky performance status and the Cancer and Aging Research Group Chemotherapy Toxicity Tool.

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CARG-BC risk group were also linked to hospitalizations, stopping the treatment early, and dose modifications.

The results are published in the Journal Of Oncology.

CARG-BC To calculate CARG-BC score of the patient, points were allocated to eight independent predictors of chemotherapy toxicity-
  • Anthracycline (anti-cancer drug) use (1 point)
  • Stage of the disease II or III (3 points)
  • Liver function test abnormal (3 points)
  • Low hemoglobin level (3 points)
  • History of fall in previous 6 months (4 points)
  • Unable to walk more than 1 mile (3 points)
  • No social support (3 points)
By calculating scores, it is seen that patients with 0-5 score have a low risk, 6-11 have an intermediate risk, and those having scores 12 or above have a high risk of toxicity.
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Even though chemotherapy is indicated, it is underused in older patients due to higher risk of severe toxicity. The CARG-BC score can be useful to help direct therapy of early-stage breast cancer in older adult patients. For patients at a higher risk of toxicity, intensifying supportive care and developing modified treatment regimens can be appropriate.

The researchers said, "Although this score should not be used as the only factor in deciding whether to administer and/or alter the dose or schedule of chemotherapy, the CARG-BC score can be used to facilitate this complex decision-making process, along with clinical judgment and patient preference."

Source: Medindia
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