EUH Resident Report: Are there any late onset, delayed effects of chemotherapy?

The Bottom Line: Chronic/late effects (6 months to lifetime) include: cardiomyopathy, CIPN, neurocognitive dysfunction, psychosocial impact, second cancers, early menopause (bone health and cardiovascular disease), fertility. Decisions made about a patient’s treatment not only become part of her past but also heavily influence her future health and HR-QOL.

Reference: Tao JJ, Visvanathan K, Wolff AC. Long term side effects of adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with early breast cancer. Breast. 2015; 24 Supp 2:S149-153.

Summary: As we better understand the longterm side effects of adjuvant chemotherapy and targeted therapy, it becomes critical to integrate our growing understanding of breast cancer biology with standard high-quality histopathologic measures to better identify the patients most likely to benefit from the various options for combined multimodality therapy. Hence, we must strive against the notion of recommending adjuvant systemic chemotherapy “just in case.”

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