Over 230,000 new cases of breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in the United States in 2015. Taxane-based chemotherapy is often an effective treatment, but can also cause adverse symptoms in patients due to neurotoxicity. These side effects can impair postural control in patients; however, this instability has scarcely been quantified. The purpose of this pilot study was to gain insight into the natural history of postural instability in breast cancer patients being treated with taxane-based chemotherapy. Thirty-two breast cancer patients (31 female/1 male; 47.6 ± 11.2 year; 16 stage II/16 stage III) completed eyes open and eyes closed quiet standing trials in the oncology clinic where they were being treated. These trials were collected at five timepoints throughout their chemotherapy treatment: (1) before initiating chemotherapy to provide a baseline, (2-4) before starting subsequent chemotherapy cycles, and (5) 1-3 months after receiving their last taxane infusion. After the first chemotherapy cycle, patients demonstrated increases in 95% confidence ellipse area of center of pressure (CoP) [45.2%, p = 0.01] and root mean squared CoP excursion [18%, p = 0.006] compared to baseline values for the eyes closed condition. These balance deficiencies progressed with cumulative taxane exposure. Postural instability persisted 1-3 months after completing chemotherapy with increases in 95% CoP ellipse area [86.8%, p = 0.002], root mean squared CoP excursion [32.6%, p = 0.001], and mean CoP velocity [30.4%, p = 0.024]. The balance impairments demonstrated by patients in this study appear to be clinically relevant when compared to balance impairments previously reported in other patient populations.
- Center of pressure
- Quiet standing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine