Background: There is limited work on the impact of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) on quality of life (QoL) in adriamycin-cyclophosphamide (AC)–treated patients with breast cancer. The objectives of the study were the following: (a) to confirm if symptoms of CINV led to lower QoL during AC; (b) to evaluate the pattern of changes in patients’ QoL during multiple cycles of AC; and (c) to assess if the QoL in an earlier cycle affected the QoL in subsequent cycles of AC. Materials and Methods: This is a secondary pooled data analysis that included 303 Chinese patients with breast cancer who received 1,177 cycles of adjuvant AC in three prospective antiemetic studies. QoL data were based on Functional Living Index–emesis (FLIE) scored over three to four AC cycles. CINV symptoms assessed included “no significant nausea” (NSN), “significant nausea” (SN), “no vomiting” (NoV), “vomiting” (V), and complete response (CR). Results: Across all AC cycles, the mean scores for the FLIE nausea domain for patients who experienced NSN versus SN were 10.92 versus 53.92, respectively (p <.0001), with lower scores indicating better QoL; the mean scores for the FLIE vomiting domain for patients who experienced NoV versus V were 1.44 versus 19.11, respectively (p <.0001), with similar results across subsequent cycles. Analysis of the effect of the QoL in cycle 1 on the QoL of subsequent cycles revealed the following: for the nausea domain, among patients who had cycle 1 FLIE scores ≥ versus < the mean, the corresponding scores in cycle 2 were 6.87 versus 36.71 (p <.0001); whereas those for cycle 3 were 7.07 versus 36.87 (p <.0001); and those for cycle 4 were 5.92 versus 21.48 (p <.0001). Similar findings were observed for the vomiting domain. Netupitant + palonosetron– or aprepitant/olanzapine–based antiemetics had significantly better QoL outcomes. Conclusion: CINV had a significant impact on the QoL of patients with breast cancer treated with AC over multiple cycles. Implications for Practice: In this post-hoc analysis of three prospective studies on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), quality of life (QoL) using contemporary antiemetic regimens in Chinese breast cancer patients receiving doxorubicin-cyclophosphamide (AC) was evaluated. During the first and subsequent AC cycles, QoL was significantly better for patients who did not experience vomiting or significant nausea. QoL in an earlier cycle affected the QoL in subsequent AC cycles. Furthermore, recent regimens involving olanzapine/aprepitant or netupitant-palonosetron were associated with a positive impact in QoL. Antiemetic guideline-consistent practice and higher clinician awareness of the impact of CINV on QoL can further mitigate the negative effects of CINV on QoL.
- Breast cancer
- Functional Living Index–Emesis
- Nausea and vomiting
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research