Purpose: Patient adherence is critical in evaluating the effectiveness of an oral therapy. We sought to measure adherence among women randomly assigned to capecitabine in a preplanned substudy of a multicenter clinical trial. Patients and Methods: Cancer and Leukemia Group B study CALGB 49907 was a randomly assigned trial comparing standard chemotherapy versus oral chemotherapy with capecitabine in patients age 65 years or older with early-stage breast cancer. We used microelectronic monitoring system (MEMS) caps on participants' capecitabine bottles to record pill bottle openings. Capecitabine was given in two divided daily doses for 14 consecutive days of a 21-day cycle for six cycles. Adherence was calculated as the number of doses taken divided by doses expected, taking into account toxicity-related dosing changes. A participant was defined as adherent if 80% or more of expected doses were recorded by MEMS. Results: Overall, 161 patients were enrolled. Median age was 71 years (range, 65 to 89 years); 124 patients (83%) persisted with capecitabine to completion of planned protocol therapy. Adherence was 78% across all cycles, and adherence did not vary by cycle (P = .32). Twenty-five percent of participants took fewer than 80% of expected doses and were nonadherent. In a logistic regression model, participants with node-negative disease (P = .01) and mastectomy (P = .01) were more likely to be nonadherent. Adherence was not related to age, tumor stage, or hormone receptor status. Adherence was not significantly associated with relapse-free survival or grade 3 or 4 toxicity. Conclusion: Most older women with early-stage breast cancer were adherent to short-term oral chemotherapy in a randomized clinical trial. Age was not associated with adherence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research