J Cancer 2013; 4(6):519-523. doi:10.7150/jca.6231 This issue

Research Paper

The Safety of Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer Patients with Hepatitis C Virus Infection

Yuji Miura1✉, Richard L Theriault2, Yoichi Naito1, Koichi Suyama1, Akihiko Shimomura1, Tsuguo Iwatani3, Daishu Miura3, Hidetaka Kawabata3, Hiromitsu Kumada4, Toshimi Takano1

1. Department of Medical Oncology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.
2. Departments of Breast Medical Oncology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.
3. Department of Breast and Endocrine Surgery, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.
4. Department of Hepatology, Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.

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Miura Y, Theriault RL, Naito Y, Suyama K, Shimomura A, Iwatani T, Miura D, Kawabata H, Kumada H, Takano T. The Safety of Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer Patients with Hepatitis C Virus Infection. J Cancer 2013; 4(6):519-523. doi:10.7150/jca.6231. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v04p0519.htm

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Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the major causes of chronic liver disease, and more than 880,000 people are estimated to be infected with HCV in Japan. Little information is available on the outcomes of HCV during chemotherapy for solid tumors, and the impact of HCV infection on toxicity of chemotherapy is unknown.

Materials and methods: We performed a retrospective survey of 1,110 patients diagnosed with breast cancer between January 2006 and March 2011 at our institution. All patients had been screened for hepatitis C serology at diagnosis of breast cancer. We retrospectively investigated the change in HCV load and the toxicities of chemotherapy, based on review of their medical records.

Results: 23 patients were identified as having a positive test for anti-HCV antibodies. Ten of these patients received chemotherapy. Their median age was 66 years. No patient had decompensated liver disease at baseline. Eight patients received cytotoxic agents with or without trastuzumab, and two patients received trastuzumab alone. Four of eight patients who received cytotoxic chemotherapy developed febrile neutropenia and one developed transaminases elevation. Serum HCV-ribonucleic acid (RNA) level before and after chemotherapy was evaluated in six patients. Median serum HCV-RNA level at baseline and after chemotherapy was 6.5 and 6.7 logIU/ml, respectively.

Conclusion: Chemotherapy for breast cancer patients with HCV infection is feasible, and viral load doesn't change during the chemotherapy.

Keywords: HCV, HCV-RNA, febrile neutropenia, Child-Pugh criteria, liver cirrhosis, chemotherapy.