Full Weight-Based Chemo Doses Recommended for Obese

ASCO committee finds no evidence of increased short- or long-term toxicity in obese patients

THURSDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- The American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline on Appropriate Chemotherapy Dosing for Obese Adult Patients With Cancer recommends using full weight-based cytotoxic chemotherapy doses to treat obese patients with cancer, according to an overview published online April 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Jennifer J. Griggs, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues present a summary overview of the complete new guidelines. These recommendations, which do not address dosing of novel targeted agents, were developed by a panel of experts in medical and gynecologic oncology, clinical pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics, and biostatistics, after reviewing results from a systematic review of literature published between 1996 and 2010.

The researchers primarily identified studies relating to breast, ovarian, colon, and lung cancer. They note that up to 40 percent of obese patients receive limited chemotherapy doses, which are not based on their actual body weight. For obese patients, concerns about toxicity and overdosing when the dose is based on actual body weight appear to be unfounded.

"The Panel recommends that full weight-based cytotoxic chemotherapy doses be used to treat obese patients with cancer, particularly when the goal of treatment is cure. There is no evidence that short- or long-term toxicity is increased among obese patients receiving full weight-based doses," the authors write. "Clinicians should respond to all treatment-related toxicities in obese patients in the same ways they do for non-obese patients."

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