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  • 1
    ISSN: 1433-7339
    Keywords: Key words Cancer ; Anxiety ; Depression ; Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale ; Psychological screening
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract The psychometric properties of the Italian version of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and its utility as a screening instrument for anxiety and depression in a non-psychiatric setting were evaluated. The questionnaire was administered twice to 197 breast cancer patients randomised in a phase III adjuvant clinical trial: before the start of chemotherapy and at the first follow-up visit. The presence of psychiatric disorders was evaluated at the follow-up visit using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R in 132 patients. Factor analyses identified two strictly correlated factors. Crohnbach's alpha for the anxiety and depression scales ranged between 0.80 and 0.85. At follow-up, 50 patients (38%) were assigned a current DSM-III-R diagnosis, in most cases adjustment disorders (24%) or major depressive disorder (10%). Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis was used to test the discriminant validity for both anxiety and depressive disorders. The comparison of the areas under the curve (AUC) between the two scales did not show any difference in identifying either anxiety (P=0.855) or depressive disorders (P=0.357). The 14-item total scale showed a high internal consistency (alpha=0.89 and 0.88) and a high discriminating power for all the psychiatric disorders (AUC=0.89; 95% CI=0.83–0.94). The cut-off point that maximised sensitivity (84%) and specificity (79%) was 10. These results suggest that the total score is a valid measure of emotional distress, so that the Italian version of HADS can be used as a screening questionnaire for psychiatric disorders. The use of the two subscales as a 'case identifier' or as an outcome measure should be considered with caution.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1573-7217
    Keywords: amenorrhea ; breast neoplasms ; drug therapy ; prognosis ; review
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract Background: The role of amenorrhea induced by chemotherapyin premenopausal women with early breast cancer isvery controversial. Analyses by various authors of theeffect of drug-induced amenorrhea (DIA) on treatment outcomehave yielded conflicting results. In order to gaininsight into the role of DIA, we reviewedall published data addressing the issue of DIAas a prognostic factor. Methods: Computerised and manualsearches were conducted of relevant studies published from1966 to 1995. Results: Thirteen studies involving 3929patients were selected. In two papers, the prognosticrole of DIA was analysed in three andtwo different groups of patients, respectively. Overall, 16groups of patients were evaluated. With 12 groups,a higher disease free survival was observed inpatients developing DIA compared to those who didnot. This difference was statistically significant in eightgroups. Data on overall survival, reported in onlyfive studies, indicated that it was always improvedin patients who became amenorrheic. Conclusions: Available dataon the role of DIA support its importanceas a favorable prognostic factor for early breastcancer patients. However, due to the possible biasesof this type of evaluation, this result shouldbe interpreted with caution.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1573-7217
    Keywords: breast cancer ; epirubicin
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract In order to better explore the toxicity and the activity of high dose epirubicin (120 mg/m2, 3 weeks) we analyzed a population of 127 metastatic breast cancer patients, treated in a randomized clinical trial conducted to evaluate the cardioprotective effect of dexrazoxane against epirubicin induced cardiotoxicity. All the patients had a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer, an ECOG performance status ≥2 and normal hematologic, renal, hepatic and cardiac function. No prior adjuvant chemotherapy including anthracycline was allowed. Epirubicin was given at the dose of 120 mg/m2 i.v. bolus every 3 weeks. One hundred twenty five patients were evaluable for toxicity and response. Seventeen patients (11%) had a complete response and 47 patients (37%) a partial response, for an overall response rate of 48%. The median progression free and overall survivals were 8.3 months and 18.3 months, respectively. Grade 3 and 4 leukopenia were observed in 8% and 7% of the patients, respectively. The most frequent nonhematological grade 3 toxicities were alopecia (87%), nausea and vomiting (16%), and mucositis (8%). Cardiotoxicity, defined as occurrence of congestive heart failure, decrease in resting left ventricular ejection fraction (L-VEF) to ≥45, or 20 EF units decrease from baseline L-VEF, was observed in 19% of the patients, after a median cumulative dose of epirubicin of 720 mg/m2 (range 120–1440). This study confirms in a large series of patients the activity of high dose epirubicin; however, the high incidence of cardiotoxicity requires a careful evaluation of cardiac risk factors before treatment.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1573-7217
    Keywords: adjuvant therapy ; endometrial biopsy ; endometrial cancer ; tamoxifen ; ultrasonography
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Abstract The need for endometrial surveillance in breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant treatment with tamoxifen is still controversial. In this study, 164 asymptomatic breast cancer patients (110 on treatment with tamoxifen, 20 mg/day, and 54 controls) were examined with pelvic ultrasound and endometrial biopsy. No differences in ultrasound and biopsy findings were observed in the pre- and perimenopausal group between patients treated with tamoxifen and controls. Postmenopausal patients on tamoxifen had a significantly thicker endometrium (mean ± SD, 7.2 ± 8.5 vs. 1.5 ± 4.3 mm, p=0.00002) and significantly larger uterine volume (mean ± SD, 63.2 ± 39.9 vs. 43.7 ± 38.8 cm3, p=0.0001) than controls. Fifty-four percent of patients on tamoxifen had an endometrial thickness ≥ 5 mm, often with multiple irregular sonolucencies suggesting the presence of cysts. Ultrasound findings, however, did not correlate with the presence of endometrial abnormalities on biopsy, and no endometrial cancer or atypical hyperplasia were found. This lack of correlation makes questionable the use of routine sonography in asymptomatic breast cancer patients on tamoxifen. Obtaining routine endometrial samples, on the other hand, may be difficult in some patients because of cervical stenosis or refusal. Until the benefits of endometrial surveillance will be proved, asymptomatic patients should not be submitted routinely to ultrasound examination or biopsy, but encouraged to report promptly any abnormal vaginal bleeding.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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