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Dynamics of Long-Term Patient-Reported Quality of Life and Health Behaviors After Adjuvant Breast Cancer Chemotherapy



We aimed to characterize long-term quality of life (QOL) trajectories among patients with breast cancer treated with adjuvant chemotherapy and to identify related patterns of health behaviors.


Female stage I-III breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy in CANTO (CANcer TOxicity; identifier: NCT01993498) were included. Trajectories of QOL (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-C30 Summary Score) and associations with trajectory group membership were identified by iterative estimations of group-based trajectory models and multivariable multinomial logistic regression, respectively.


Four trajectory groups were identified (N = 4,131): excellent (51.7%), very good (31.7%), deteriorating (10.0%), and poor (6.6%) QOL. The deteriorating trajectory group reported fairly good baseline QOL (mean [95% CI], 78.3/100 [76.2 to 80.5]), which significantly worsened at year-1 (58.1/100 [56.4 to 59.9]) and never recovered to pretreatment values through year-4 (61.1/100 [59.0 to 63.3]) postdiagnosis. Healthy behaviors were associated with better performing trajectory groups. Obesity (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] v lean, 1.51 [95% CI, 1.28 to 1.79]; P < .0001) and current smoking (aOR v never, 1.52 [95% CI, 1.27 to 1.82]; P < .0001) at diagnosis were associated with membership to the deteriorating group, which was also characterized by a higher prevalence of patients with excess body weight and insufficient physical activity through year-4 and by frequent exposure to tobacco smoking during chemotherapy. Additional factors associated with membership to the deteriorating group included younger age (aOR, 1-year decrement 1.01 [95% CI, 1.01 to 1.02]; P = .043), comorbidities (aOR v no, 1.22 [95% CI, 1.06 to 1.40]; P = .005), lower income (aOR v wealthier households, 1.21 [95% CI, 1.07 to 1.37]; P = .002), and endocrine therapy (aOR v no, 1.14 [95% CI, 1.01 to 1.30]; P = .047).


This latent-class analysis identified some patients with upfront poor QOL and a high-risk cluster with severe, persistent postchemotherapy QOL deterioration. Screening relevant patient-level characteristics may inform tailored interventions to mitigate the detrimental impact of chemotherapy and preserve QOL, including early addressal of behavioral concerns and provision of healthy lifestyle support programs.

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