Research

Incidence of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia in HIV-infected and uninfected patients with breast cancer receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy

Sithembile Ngidi, Nombulelo Magula, Ben Sartorius, Pooven Govender, Thandinkosi E Madiba

Abstract


Background. Chemotherapy-induced neutropenia (CIN) can result in poor tolerance of chemotherapy, leading to dose reductions, delays in therapy schedules, morbidity and mortality. Actively identifying predisposing risk factors before treatment is of paramount importance. We hypothesised that chemotherapy is associated with a greater increase in CIN and its complications in HIV-infected patients than in those who are not infected.

Objective. To establish the incidence of CIN in HIV-infected and uninfected patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Methods. A retrospective chart review and analysis was conducted in the oncology departments at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital and Addington Hospital, Durban, South Africa. The study population consisted of 65 previously untreated women of all ages with stage II - IV breast cancer and known HIV status treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy from January 2012 to December 2015.

Results. HIV-infected patients formed 32.3% of the group, and 95.2% of them were on antiretroviral therapy. The mean age (standard deviation (SD)) of the cohort was 48.5 (13.2) years (40.6 (9.6) years for the HIV-infected group v. 52.0 (13.1) years for the uninfected group; p<0.001). Ninety-five neutropenia episodes were observed (rate 0.85 per 1 year of follow-up time). Following multivariate adjustment, patients with HIV infection were almost two times more likely to develop CIN (hazard ratio (HR) 1.76, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06 - 2.92; p=0.029. A high baseline absolute neutrophil count (ANC) (HR 0.80, 95% CI 0.68 - 0.95; p=0.005) remained significantly associated with protection against CIN.

Conclusions. HIV-infected patients were younger than those who were not infected, and presented at a more locally advanced stage of disease. HIV infection was an independent predictor for CIN. HIV-infected patients had an almost two-fold increased risk of developing CIN and developed neutropenia at a much faster rate. A high baseline white cell count and ANC were protective against CIN.


Authors' affiliations

Sithembile Ngidi, Department of Radiation Oncology, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Nombulelo Magula, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Ben Sartorius, Discipline of Public Health Medicine, School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Pooven Govender, Department of Radiation Oncology, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Thandinkosi E Madiba, Department of Surgery, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

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Keywords

Chemotherapy-induced neutropenia; CIN; HIV; Breast cancer; Neoadjuvant therapy; Non-AIDS-defining cancer

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2017;107(7):595-601. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2017.v107i7.12309

Article History

Date submitted: 2017-06-30
Date published: 2017-06-30

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