Early discontinuation and dose reduction of adjuvant chemotherapy in stage III colon cancer patients

Daniel Boakye, Lina Jansen, Niels Halama, Jenny Chang-Claude, Michael Hoffmeister, Hermann Brenner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The benefit of chemotherapy in colon cancer patients is well documented but depends largely on whether patients complete the planned treatment regimen. We evaluated predictors of early discontinuation (EDChemo) and dose reduction of chemotherapy, especially the role of adverse treatment effects, in stage III patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy.

Methods: Stage III colon cancer patients who were diagnosed in 2003–2014 and recruited into a population-based study in Germany and received FOLFOX [5-fluorouracil (5-FU), leucovorin (LV), and oxaliplatin], capecitabine monotherapy (CapMono), or 5-FU/LV were included. We assessed determinants of EDChemo and dose reduction using multivariable logistic regression. Also, we estimated proportions of EDChemo and dose reduction that are attributable to adverse effects using attributable fractions.

Results: EDChemo and dose reduction rates were 52% and 17% for FOLFOX, 28% and 9% for CapMono, and 45% and 6% for 5-FU/LV, respectively. Predictors of EDChemo were low-grade tumor and treatment in a medium-volume hospital (for FOLFOX), obesity (for CapMono), and increasing age, T4 stage, and treatment in a medium-volume hospital (for 5-FU/LV). Adverse effects were particularly strongly associated with EDChemo and contributed to about 63%, 51%, and 32% of EDChemo of FOLFOX, CapMono, and 5-FU/LV, respectively. Of the various adverse effects, gastrointestinal events showed the strongest associations with EDChemo and accounted for about 7%, 26%, and 20% of EDChemo of FOLFOX, CapMono, and 5-FU/LV, respectively. Adverse effects were, moreover, a strong determinant of dose reduction and accounted for about 82% of all cases.

Conclusions: EDChemo is common in stage III colon cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and more than half of the cases of EDChemo and dose reduction are due to adverse treatment effects. Further research should address the potential for reducing EDChemo and dose reduction rates by close monitoring of patients for early signs and enhanced management of adverse effects, especially gastrointestinal events.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • adverse effect
  • chemotherapy
  • colonic neoplasm
  • dose reduction
  • early discontinuation

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