Study finds low pain in breast cancer patients treated with palbociclib

The study is apparently one of the first outside a clinical trial to evaluate the day-to-day effects of advanced/unresectable or metastatic breast cancer and its treatment along with the effects of treatment-induced neutropenia.

Patients with advanced/unresectable or metastatic breast cancer treated with palbociclib combination therapy experienced low levels of baseline pain and fatigue, a recent study found.

The study is apparently one of the first outside a clinical trial to evaluate the day-to-day effects of advanced/unresectable or metastatic breast cancer and its treatment along with the effects of treatment-induced neutropenia.

The study evaluated patients in a real-world setting who received palbociclib combination therapy for locally advanced/unresectable or metastatic breast cancer with hormone receptor-positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative.

Data about family life, social life, physical activity, energy and productivity; overall health rating; and quality of life (QOL) were collected via a custom-developed mobile application at daily, weekly and cycle-based intervals.

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Findings from the study, published in January 2021 in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, included:

  • Levels of baseline pain were lower.
  • Fatigue remained stable across cycles.
  • General health status as measured by the SF-12 remained consistent throughout treatment and was generally consistent with published norms for individuals diagnosed with cancer (excluding skin cancer).
  • The presence of depression, as indicated by the patient-reported CES-D-10, was low and did not change substantially over time.
  • Patients, on average, reported a neutral or positive mood.
  • Patient-reported quality of life and overall health was primarily “good,” “very good,” or “excellent.”
  • Patients with neutropenia, on the whole, did not show decreases in quality of life during the study, and findings were consistent with those who did not experience neutropenia.

“Patients treated with palbociclib, on average, reported consistently low levels of pain and fatigue as well as good QOL and overall health that remained stable throughout the first six months of treatment regardless of episodes of neutropenia,” concluded the authors, which included Jeffrey B. Hargis, M.D., medical oncologist with Norton Cancer Institute.

Real-world information about patient experiences with advanced/unresectable or metastatic breast cancer and treatment-induced neutropenia has been limited. The study, “A Prospective Observational Study of Patient-reported Functioning and Quality of Life in Advanced and Metastatic Breast Cancer Utilizing a Novel Mobile Application,” provides valuable data to inform treatment discussions and health care decision-making, the authors wrote.


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