Publication Abstract

Authors: Aiello Bowles EJ, Boudreau DM, Chubak J, Yu O, Fujii M, Chestnut J, Buist DSM

Title: Patient-reported discontinuation of endocrine therapy and related adverse effects among women with early-stage breast cancer

Journal: J Oncol Pract :-

Date: 2012 Jul 17

Abstract: Background: Approximately 20% to 50% of women diagnosed with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer discontinue endocrine therapy early; most reports come from automated pharmacy data or small self-report evaluations. We conducted a larger self-report evaluation of endocrine therapy discontinuation associated with patient characteristics and therapy-related adverse effects.Methods: We surveyed 538 women from a single health plan who were diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer from 2002 to 2008 and received endocrine therapy. Women reported adverse effects and reasons for discontinuation via mailed survey; tumor characteristics were obtained via registry linkage. We classified women as discontinuers if they self-reported stopping therapy and their self-reported duration of tamoxifen plus aromatase inhibitor (AI) use was < 5 years, and nondiscontinuers if they self-reported ≥ 5 years use or current use. We estimated odds ratios (ORs) with 95% CIs for discontinuation versus continuation by using logistic regression adjusted for age and year of diagnosis.Results: Among 538 women, 98 (18.2%) discontinued endocrine therapy early. Women with positive lymph nodes (v negative) were significantly less likely to discontinue therapy (odds ratio [OR] = 0.54; 95% CI, 0.31 to 0.93). Almost all women (94%) experienced adverse effects. Experiencing headaches was associated with discontinuation of AIs (OR = 4.16; 95% CI, 2.16 to 8.01) and tamoxifen (OR = 2.34; 95% CI, 1.24 to 4.41); few other individual adverse effects were related to discontinuation despite most discontinuers reporting they "did not like adverse effects" (AIs: 66.7%, tamoxifen: 59.1%).Conclusion: Few individual adverse effects or patient characteristics were significantly associated with endocrine therapy discontinuation, yet adverse effects were prevalent and were the most common reason women reported for discontinuing therapy.