The safety of chemotherapy for breast cancer patients with hepatitis c virus infection

Yuji Miura, Richard L. Theriault, Yoichi Naito, Koichi Suyama, Akihiko Shimomura, Tsuguo Iwatani, Daishu Miura, Hidetaka Kawabata, Hiromitsu Kumada, Toshimi Takano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the major causes of chronic liver disease, and more than 880,000 people are estimated to be infected with HCV in Japan. Little information is available on the outcomes of HCV during chemotherapy for solid tumors, and the impact of HCV infection on toxicity of chemotherapy is unknown. Materials and methods: We performed a retrospective survey of 1,110 patients diagnosed with breast cancer between January 2006 and March 2011 at our institution. All patients had been screened for hepatitis C serology at diagnosis of breast cancer. We retrospectively investigated the change in HCV load and the toxicities of chemotherapy, based on review of their medical records. Results: 23 patients were identified as having a positive test for anti-HCV antibodies. Ten of these patients received chemotherapy. Their median age was 66 years. No patient had decompensated liver disease at baseline. Eight patients received cytotoxic agents with or without trastuzumab, and two patients received trastuzumab alone. Four of eight patients who received cytotoxic chemotherapy developed febrile neutropenia and one developed transaminases elevation. Serum HCV-ribonucleic acid (RNA) level before and after chemotherapy was evaluated in six patients. Median serum HCV-RNA level at baseline and after chemotherapy was 6.5 and 6.7 logIU/ml, respectively. Conclusion: Chemotherapy for breast cancer patients with HCV infection is feasible, and viral load doesn't change during the chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-523
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cancer
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemotherapy.
  • Child-Pugh criteria
  • Febrile neutropenia
  • HCV
  • Liver cirrhosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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