Background: The risk of TRD with adjuvant chemotherapy for early breast cancer is unknown in Malaysia despite its widespread usage. This study aims to determine this rate in a large cohort of patients treated in UMMC.
Patients & Methods: Patients who were treated with neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy for early breast cancer stages I, II or III from 2000-2007 in UMMC were identified from our UMMC Breast Cancer Registry. The TRD rate and 5 years overall survival (OS) were determined. TRD is defined as death occurring during or within 30 days of completing chemotherapy as a consequence of the chemotherapy treatment. OS was defined as death from any cause from the date of diagnosis to the date of death. OS was determined using the Kaplan-Meier method and differences between AJCC stages were compared by log-rank test.
Results: A total of 1317 were identified for analysis. The median age at diagnosis was 49 years with a range of 24 to 74 years. The rate of TRD was 0.1%. The 5 years OS rate was 77.3% with a median follow up of 62 months. The 5 years OS according to AJCC stage were 90.7% for stage I, 83.9% for stage II and 62.2% for stage III disease. The commonest chemotherapy regimen used was the FEC (5-Fluorouracil, Epirubicin, Cyclophosphamide) regimen accounting for approximately 90% of the cases.
Conclusion: Adjuvant chemotherapy for early breast cancer with the FEC regimen is safe with a TRD rate of 0.1% in our centre.
Keywords: treatment related death (TRD), breast cancer, adjuvant chemotherapy