|The following article is part of conference coverage from the 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Symposium, which is being held virtually from March 7-21, 2021. The team at Cancer Therapy Advisor will be reporting on the latest research conducted by leading experts in breast cancer. Check back for more from the 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Symposium.|
Regardless of type of adjuvant endocrine therapy, women with hormone-positive breast cancer who undergo endocrine therapy may have reduced health-related quality of life (HRQOL), according to the result of a study presented at the 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference 2021.
For the study, women with hormone-positive breast cancer were identified from INSPIRE (International Nipple Sparing Mastectomy Registry), which is a prospective database of women from 29 centers in 18 countries undergoing nipple-sparing mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction for breast cancer or for risk-reducing purposes.
A total of 155 women with hormone-positive breast cancer who received adjuvant endocrine therapy were identified, including 105 who underwent treatment with tamoxifen and 50 who underwent treatment with aromatase inhibitors.
To measure HRQOL, patients were asked to complete 2 questionnaires — EORTC QLQC30 and QLQBR23 — before undergoing surgery and 1 year after surgery. A total of 106 patients completed the questionnaires, 75 of whom underwent treatment with tamoxifen and 31 who underwent treatment with aromatase inhibitors.
The tamoxifen group and aromatase inhibitor group had similar QOL scores at baseline and 1 year after surgery. The researchers noted that, among patients in the tamoxifen group, there was a “trend” for insomnia and appetite loss 1 year after surgery.
Compared with patients in the aromatase inhibitor group, patients in the tamoxifen group had worse scores in the sexual functioning category (P =.04) and, according to the study authors, a “trend” for worse sexual enjoyment (P =.06) was noted at 1 year.
Compared with baseline, for both groups of patients, lower scores were seen 1 year after surgery for body image (P =.0002), future perspective (P =.02), breast symptoms, and arm symptoms (P =.003).
The investigators concluded that endocrine therapy has the potential to negatively affect the HRQOL of patients with breast cancer.
“Sexual dysfunction should be addressed early and proactively in patients undergoing [endocrine therapy],” they wrote.
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Esgueva AJ, Noordhoek I, Kranenbarg EM, et al. Impact of endocrine therapy in quality of life on early stage breast cancer patients: prospective patient reported outcomes from the international registry INSPIRE. Poster presented at: The 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference 2021; March 17-21, 2021. Abstract P156.