Background & aims
Weight gain is a common problem for breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. It increases the risk of several comorbidities and possibly cancer recurrence. We assessed whether weight gain depends on the type of chemotherapy.
In a retrospective study among 739 breast cancer patients, we assessed whether change in body weight during chemotherapy differed between types of chemotherapy. Information about weight, clinical and personal factors was retrieved from medical records of breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy between 2001 and 2010 in 4 different hospitals.
Body weight information was complete in n = 483 patients (66%). There was substantial between-patients variability in weight change during chemotherapy: within the upper quintile of weight change, median weight gain was +6 kg, while in the bottom quintile median weight loss was of -3 kg. Adjusted multivariate regression analysis showed that change in weight differed between types of chemotherapy: women treated with anthracyclines + taxanes gained +0.9 kg (95%CI 0.1, 1.7) more than women treated with anthracyclines only. This differential change in weight was no longer statistically significant after taking into account that regimens with anthracyclines + taxanes have a longer duration than regimens with anthracyclines only.
There was more weight gain among patients treated with anthracyclines + taxanes than among patients treated with anthracyclines-only. This is partly explained by the longer duration of regimes with anthracyclines + taxanes.