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Low lean mass and chemotherapy toxicity risk in the elderly: the Fraction study protocol

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Half of cancer cases occur in patients aged 70 and above. Majority of older patients are eligible for chemotherapy but evidence for treating this population is sparse and severe toxicities affect more than half of them. Determining prognostic biomarkers able to predict poor chemotherapy tolerance remains one of the major issues in geriatric oncology. Ageing is associated with body composition changes (increase of fat mass and loss of lean mass) independently of weight-loss. Previous studies suggest that body composition parameters (particularly muscle mass) may predict poor chemotherapy tolerance. However, studies specifically including older adults on this subject remain sparse and the majority of them study body composition based on computed tomography (CT) scanner (axial L3 section) muscle mass estimation. This method is to date not validated in elderly cancer patients. METHODS: This trial (Fraction) will evaluate the discriminative ability of appendicular lean mass measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to predict severe toxicity incidence in older cancer-patients treated with first-line chemotherapy. DXA is considered the gold standard in body composition assessment in older adults. Patient's aged ≥70 diagnosed with solid neoplasms or lymphomas at a locally advanced or metastatic stage treated for first-line chemotherapy were recruited. Patients completed a pre-chemotherapy assessment that recorded socio-demographics, tumor/treatment variables, laboratory test results, geriatric assessment variables (function, comorbidity, cognition, social support and nutritional status), oncological risk scores and body composition with DXA. Appendicular lean mass was standardized using evidence based international criteria. Participants underwent short follow-up geriatric assessments within the first 3 months, 6 months and a year after inclusion. Grade 3 to 5 chemotherapy-related toxicities, as defined by the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (NCI CTCAE) were assessed at each chemotherapy cycle. DISCUSSION: The finding that body composition is associated with poor tolerance of chemotherapy could lead to consider these parameters as well as improve current decision-making algorithms when treating older adults. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02806154 registered on October 2016.
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Zara Steinmeyer, Stéphane Gérard, Thomas Filleron, Stéphanie Lozano, Delphine Brechemier, et al.. Low lean mass and chemotherapy toxicity risk in the elderly: the Fraction study protocol. BMC Cancer, BioMed Central, 2019, 19 (1), pp.1153. ⟨10.1186/s12885-019-6377-7⟩. ⟨inserm-02435253⟩

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