Effect of Intensive Chemotherapy on Physical, Cognitive, and Emotional Health of Older Adults with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

PubMedID: 27627675

Klepin HD, Tooze JA, Pardee TS, Ellis LR, Berenzon D, Mihalko SL, Danhauer SC, Rao AV, Wildes TM, Williamson JD, Powell BL, Kritchevsky SB. Effect of Intensive Chemotherapy on Physical, Cognitive, and Emotional Health of Older Adults with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016;.
OBJECTIVES
To measure short-term changes in physical and cognitive function and emotional well-being of older adults receiving intensive chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

DESIGN
Prospective observational study.

SETTING
Single academic institution.

PARTICIPANTS
Individuals aged 60 and older with newly diagnosed AML who received induction chemotherapy (N = 49, mean age 70 ± 6.2, 56% male).

MEASUREMENTS
Geriatric assessment (GA) was performed during inpatient examination for AML and within 8 weeks after hospital discharge after induction chemotherapy. Measures were the Pepper Assessment Tool for Disability (activity of daily living, instrumental activity of daily living (IADL), mobility questions), Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), grip strength, Modified Mini-Mental State examination, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, and the Distress Thermometer. Changes in GA measures were assessed using paired t-tests. Analysis of variance models were used to evaluate relationships between GA variables and change in function over time.

RESULTS
After chemotherapy, IADL dependence worsened (mean 1.4 baseline vs 2.1 follow-up, P < .001), as did mean SPPB scores (7.5 vs 5.9, P = .02 for total). Grip strength also declined (38.9 ± 7.7 vs 34.2 ± 10.3 kg, P < .001 for men; 24.5 ± 4.8 vs 21.8 ± 4.7 kg, P = .007 for women). No significant changes in cognitive function (mean 84.7 vs 85.1, P = .72) or depressive symptoms (14.0 vs. 11.3, P = .11) were detected, but symptoms of distress declined (5.0 vs 3.2, P < .001). Participants with depressive symptoms at baseline and follow-up had greater declines in SPPB scores those without at both time points.

CONCLUSIONS
Short-term survivors of intensive chemotherapy for AML had clinically meaningful declines in physical function. These data support the importance of interventions to maintain physical function during and after chemotherapy. Depressive symptoms before and during chemotherapy may be linked to potentially modifiable physical function declines.