Older Breast Cancer Patients can Tolerate Adjuvant Therapy with Doxorubicin and Cyclophosphamide
Traditionally, older women with breast cancer are given less aggressive chemotherapy than younger women, primarily because of concern about increased toxicity.
This study demonstrates that older women receiving adjuvant chemotherapy do not experience clinically significant increases in toxicity. In this study, 44 women aged 35 to 79 with early stage breast cancer received four cycles of adjuvant therapy with the widely-used combination of Doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide. Researchers evaluated study participants in two groups -- patients younger than age 65 and patient 65 or older -- and found no clinically significant differences in toxicities, such as decreases in white blood cell count, cardiac function, and quality of life between the groups. These findings suggest that older age alone should not exclude women with breast cancer from receiving this chemotherapy regimen or from participating in clinical trials.