Study Looks at Inflammatory Markers and Clinical Decline Following Adjuvant Chemotherapy

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers found that older women considered robust before adjuvant chemotherapy are at a risk for clinical decline following chemotherapy. High baseline levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were linked to considerably heightened risk.

The study comprised 295 women who were at least 65 years of age who were diagnosed with stage I to III breast cancer and considered robust according to the Deficit Accumulation Index (DAI) before adjuvant chemotherapy (T1). At T1, IL-6 and CRP levels were measured. The primary outcome of the study was chemotherapy-induced reduction in frailty, which was identified as reduction in DAI from robust at T1 to prefrail or frail at T2 up to 30 days following chemotherapy treatment.

At T2, 76 women experienced chemotherapy-induced decline in frailty status to prefrail (n = 69) or frail (n = 7) of the 295 women. It was found that those who had a decline in frailty status had considerably higher levels of IL-6 and CRP at baseline compared with those without decline in frailty status. Of the 76 patients who experienced a decline, 65.8% had high IL-6 levels and 63.2% had high CRP levels. Approximately 46% of the patients had high levels of both markers vs the approximately 26% patients who stayed robust.


Stenger M. Inflammatory Markers and Clinical Decline After Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Older Women With Breast Cancer. The ASCO Post. Updated September 30, 2022. Accessed October 20, 2022.

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