Results of a large prospective, longitudinal study showed that receipt of combination systemic therapy including chemotherapy plus trastuzumab was associated with an increased odds of not returning to work 2 years after diagnosis of nonmetastatic breast cancer. The findings from this study were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Although results of previously conducted studies have shown return-to-work (RTW) after treatment of nonmetastatic breast cancer to be “a complex process that is strongly influenced by medical factors such as treatment and its related adverse effects,” most of those studies were limited by their size and/or design, and were characterized by an absence of data based on validated patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures. Furthermore, the majority of the studies evaluating physical domains did not also include assessments of psychological domains.

In addition, many of those earlier studies did not evaluate patients receiving contemporary multimodality therapy, including newer chemotherapy and endocrine therapy agents, and HER2-directed therapy (eg, trastuzumab), leading the study researchers to comment that “a clear and comprehensive assessment of the burden of contemporary breast cancer treatment and its related toxicities on employment is lacking.”

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The analysis was conducted in France and included 1874 women with stage I to III breast cancer enrolled in the prospective CANTO study ( Identifier: NCT01993498). At breast cancer diagnosis, all patients were employed and aged 57 years or younger, which was 5 years prior to the earliest age of retirement in France.