Adjuvant chemotherapy in elderly women with breast cancer (AChEW): an observational study identifying MDT perceptions and barriers to decision making

Ring, A, Harder, H, Langridge, C, Ballinger, R S and Fallowfield, L J (2013) Adjuvant chemotherapy in elderly women with breast cancer (AChEW): an observational study identifying MDT perceptions and barriers to decision making. Annals of Oncology, 24 (5). pp. 1211-1219. ISSN 0923-7534

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Abstract

Background: As few older women with breast cancer receive adjuvant chemotherapy, we examined the barriers and perceptions of 24 UK NHS multidisciplinary breast cancer teams to offering this treatment to women ≥70 years.
Patients and methods: Questionnaires regarding 803 patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer were completed by specialist teams following discussion or outpatient consultation.
Results: Of 803 patients, 116 (14%), all <85 years, were offered chemotherapy and 66 (8%) received it. Only 94 of 309 (30%) of women with high-risk disease were offered chemotherapy, and 53 (17%) received it. The most common reasons for not offering chemotherapy were 'other treatments more appropriate' (usually patients with ER-positive tumours) or 'benefits too small' (63% and 54% of patients, respectively). Co-morbidities and frailty were less common reasons but became more frequent with increasing age. Recommendations regarding chemotherapy were made in the absence of documented HER2 and performance status in 29% and 33%, respectively. Treatment offered varied considerably between cancer centres.
Conclusions: National guidelines need development describing the minimally acceptable data for decision making, incorporating objective fitness measures and specific treatment recommendations. Such guidelines will require educational support for implementation but should standardise care and improve chemotherapy uptake in this increasing population of older patients.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Impact Factor: 6.425
Keywords: adjuvant chemotherapy breast cancer clinical decision making elderly women
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Sussex Health Outcomes Research & Education in Cancer (SHORE-C)
Subjects: R Medicine
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Patricia Butler
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2013 12:17
Last Modified: 21 May 2013 10:27
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/43789
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