Association between adjuvant chemotherapy and risk of acute kidney injury in elderly women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer

Shuling Li, Jiannong Liu, Beth A. Virnig, Allan J. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: We studied elderly Medicare enrollees newly diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer to examine the association between adjuvant chemotherapy and acute kidney injury (AKI). Methods: Using the linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database, we conducted a retrospective cohort study including women diagnosed with stages I–III breast cancer at ages 66–89 years between 1992 and 2007. We performed one-to-one matching on time-dependent propensity score on the day of adjuvant chemotherapy initiation within 6 months after the first cancer-directed surgery based on the estimated probability of chemotherapy initiation at each day for each patient, using a Cox proportional hazards model. We estimated the cumulative incidence of AKI using Kaplan–Meier methods. We used Cox proportional hazards models to evaluate the association between chemotherapy and the risk of AKI, and compared the risk among major chemotherapy types. Results: The study included 28,048 women. The 6-month cumulative incidence of AKI was 0.80% for chemotherapy-treated patients, compared with 0.30% for untreated patients (P < 0.001). Adjuvant chemotherapy was associated with a nearly threefold increased risk of AKI [hazard ratio (HR) 2.73; 95% CI 1.8–4.1]. Compared with anthracycline-based chemotherapy, the HRs (95% CIs) were 1.66 (0.94–2.91), 0.88 (0.53–1.47), and 1.15 (0.57–2.32) for taxane-based, CMF, and other chemotherapy, respectively. Conclusion: Our findings showed that adjuvant chemotherapy was associated with increased risk of AKI in elderly women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. The risk seemed to vary by regimen type, but the differences were not statistically significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-524
Number of pages10
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Chronic Disease Research Group, Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Acute kidney injury
  • Adjuvant chemotherapy
  • Breast cancer
  • Medicare


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