Breast cancer adjuvant chemotherapy decisions in older women: the role of patient preference and interactions with physicians.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Multicenter Study)

PURPOSE: Breast cancer chemotherapy decisions in patients > or = 65 years old (older) are complex because of comorbidity, toxicity, and limited data on patient preference. We examined relationships between preferences and chemotherapy use. METHODS: Older women (n = 934) diagnosed with invasive (> or = 1 cm), nonmetastatic breast cancer from 2004 to 2008 were recruited from 53 cooperative group sites. Data were collected from patient interviews (87% complete), physician survey (93% complete), and charts. Logistic regression and multiple imputation methods were used to assess associations between chemotherapy and independent variables. Chemotherapy use was also evaluated according to the following two groups: indicated (estrogen receptor [ER] negative and/or node positive) and possibly indicated (ER positive and node negative). RESULTS: Mean patient age was 73 years (range, 65 to 100 years). Unadjusted chemotherapy rates were 69% in the indicated group and 16% in the possibly indicated group. Women who would choose chemotherapy for an increase in survival of < or = 12 months had 3.9 times (95% CI, 2.4 to 6.3 times; P < .001) higher odds of receiving chemotherapy than women with lower preferences, controlling for covariates. Stronger preferences were seen when chemotherapy could be indicated (odds ratio [OR] = 7.7; 95% CI, 3.8 to 16; P < .001) than when treatment might be possibly indicated (OR = 1.9; 95% CI, 1.0 to 3.8; P = .06). Higher patient rating of provider communication was also related to chemotherapy use in the possibly indicated group (OR = 1.9 per 5-point increase in communication score; 95% CI, 1.4 to 2.8; P < .001) but not in the indicated group (P = .15). CONCLUSION: Older women's preferences and communication with providers are important correlates of chemotherapy use, especially when benefits are more equivocal.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mandelblatt, JS; Sheppard, VB; Hurria, A; Kimmick, G; Isaacs, C; Taylor, KL; Kornblith, AB; Noone, A-M; Luta, G; Tallarico, M; Barry, WT; Hunegs, L; Zon, R; Naughton, M; Winer, E; Hudis, C; Edge, SB; Cohen, HJ; Muss, H; Cancer Leukemia Group B,

Published Date

  • July 1, 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 28 / 19

Start / End Page

  • 3146 - 3153

PubMed ID

  • 20516438

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2903313

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1527-7755

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1200/JCO.2009.24.3295


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States