BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy-induced neutropenia has been associated with prolonged survival selectively in patients on a conventional schedule (combined 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin [FOLFOX2]) but not on a chronomodulated schedule of the same drugs administered at specific circadian times (chronoFLO4). The authors hypothesized that the early occurrence of chemotherapy-induced symptoms correlated with circadian disruption would selectively hinder the efficacy of chronotherapy. METHODS: Fatigue and weight loss (FWL) were considered to be associated with circadian disruption based on previous data. Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (n?=?543) from an international phase 3 trial comparing FOLFOX2 with chronoFLO4 were categorized into 4 subgroups according to the occurrence of FWL or other clinically relevant toxicities during the initial 2 courses of chemotherapy. Multivariate Cox models were used to assess the role of toxicity on the time to progression (TTP) and overall survival (OS). RESULTS: The proportions of patients in the 4 subgroups were comparable in both treatment arms (P?=?.77). No toxicity was associated with TTP or OS on FOLFOX2. The median OS on FOLFOX2 ranged from 16.4 (95% confidence limits [CL], 7.2-25.6 months) to 19.8 months (95% CL, 17.7-22.0 months) according to toxicity subgroup (P?=?.45). Conversely, FWL, but no other toxicity, independently predicted for significantly shorter TTP (P?.0001) and OS (P?=?.001) on chronoFLO4. The median OS on chronoFLO4 was 13.8 months (95% CL, 10.4-17.2 months) or 21.1 months (95% CL, 19.0-23.1 months) according to presence or absence of chemotherapy-induced FWL, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Early onset chemotherapy-induced FWL was an independent predictor of poor TTP and OS only on chronotherapy. Dynamic monitoring to detect early chemotherapy-induced circadian disruption could allow the optimization of rapid chronotherapy and concomitant improvements in safety and efficacy. Cancer 2013;. © 2013 American Cancer Society.
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