Breast cancer research and treatment 2017 04 26() doi 10.1007/s10549-017-4259-8
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the major pathogens of chronic viral hepatitis, and approximately 38 million patients are infected with HCV in China. However, little information is available on the effect of HCV infection during chemotherapy for breast cancer and the impact of HCV infection on the toxicity of chemotherapy and targeted therapy.
We performed a retrospective survey of 835 patients who were diagnosed with breast cancer between January 2010 and December 2015 at our institution. All patients had been screened for HCV infection at the time of breast cancer diagnosis. We retrospectively investigated the toxicities of chemotherapy and the changes in HCV load based on a review of the medical records.
A total of 21 patients with positive anti-HCV antibody tests received chemotherapy. The median patient age was 46.3 ± 11.2 years. Four (19.0%) patients exhibited abnormal liver function at baseline. The morbidity of abnormal liver function at baseline was higher in HCV-infected patients (19.0% vs. 0, P = 0.000). Four patients received trastuzumab therapy. Five (23.8%) patients who received chemotherapy developed hepatitis. No patients presented with HCV reactivation. The morbidity of hepatitis and the rate of disruption of chemotherapy were not significantly different between breast cancer patients without HCV infection and those with HCV infection (23.8 vs. 14.2% P = 0.342, 9.5 vs. 5.0% P = 0.619, respectively).
HCV infection had no adverse impact on chemotherapy in breast cancer patients. However, consulting a gastroenterologist and closely monitoring liver function during the course of chemotherapy may benefit patients.