Diabetic breast cancer patients have a higher risk for chemotherapy-related toxicities than non-diabetic patients undergoing the same treatment, reports a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
The University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center reviewed 70,781 patient records from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results - Medicare Database to identify men and women ages 66 and older who were diagnosed with clinical stages I, II, or III breast cancer between 1992 and 2002.
Of the participants, 20.36% (14,414) had diabetes, and among the people who received chemotherapy (11,826), 21% were diabetic.
Researchers found that diabetics receiving chemotherapy were less likely to receive anthracyclines and taxanes, and that diabetes increased a patient's odds for being hospitalized for any cause, including those associated with chemotherapy, which include toxicity, infection, fever and neutropenia.
Diabetic and non-diabetic patients who did not receive chemotherapy had similar breast cancer specific mortality, but diabetic patients who did receive chemotherapy had higher breast cancer specific mortality than non-diabetic patients.