Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 164, Issue 1, pp 69–77 | Cite as

Gait, balance, and patient-reported outcomes during taxane-based chemotherapy in early-stage breast cancer patients

  • Scott M. MonfortEmail author
  • Xueliang Pan
  • Robyn Patrick
  • Bhuvaneswari Ramaswamy
  • Robert Wesolowski
  • Michelle J. Naughton
  • Charles L. Loprinzi
  • Ajit M. W. Chaudhari
  • Maryam B. Lustberg
Clinical trial



Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a dose-limiting toxicity of several commonly used chemotherapy drugs including taxanes, vinca alkaloids, and platinum compounds. Development of CIPN is highly variable, both in self-reported symptoms and functional consequences, and can be severe enough to alter dose intensity.


To describe the natural histories of both patient-reported symptoms of CIPN and functional impairments in breast cancer patients undergoing taxane-based chemotherapy.


Thirty-three breast cancer patients (32 female/1 male; 47.8 ± 11.2 years; n = 17 stage II/n = 16 stage III) were enrolled. Patients completed self-reports of symptoms and function (e.g., EORTC QLQ-CIPN20) and objective measures of physical function (i.e., balance and gait testing) in an outpatient oncology clinic at five timepoints: (1) baseline—prior to starting chemotherapy, (2–4) before starting subsequent chemotherapy cycles, and (5) 1–3 months after receiving their last taxane infusion.


Significant negative changes in both patient-reported outcomes and objective functional measures were observed. Decreased balance was observed after the first chemotherapy cycle (28% increase in medial–lateral excursion of the center of pressure, p = 0.016) and progressed with cumulative exposure (43% increase, p < 0.001). Patients also demonstrated slower walking speeds (5% decrease, p = 0.003) as they progressed through treatment. These functional deficits were mirrored with increased patient-reported symptom severity for all EORTC QLQ-CIPN20 subscales (all p < 0.05).


This study longitudinally assessed patient-reported outcomes concurrently with balance and gait testing in patients undergoing taxane therapy. Taxane treatment was associated with the development of clinically relevant problems in both CIPN symptoms and patient function.


Gait Balance Breast cancer CIPN Neuropathies Taxane 



This research was supported by the National Cancer Institute (Grant No. R03 CA182165-01) and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (Grant No. DGE-1343012). The authors would also like to thank Tatiana Sedlak and Samuel Seelbach for their assistance with analyzing gait videos.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants that were included in this study.

Supplementary material

10549_2017_4230_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (105 kb)
Online Resource 1 (PDF 104 kb)
10549_2017_4230_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (201 kb)
Online Resource 2 (PDF 201 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott M. Monfort
    • 1
    Email author
  • Xueliang Pan
    • 2
  • Robyn Patrick
    • 3
  • Bhuvaneswari Ramaswamy
    • 4
  • Robert Wesolowski
    • 4
  • Michelle J. Naughton
    • 5
  • Charles L. Loprinzi
    • 6
  • Ajit M. W. Chaudhari
    • 1
    • 7
  • Maryam B. Lustberg
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Center for BiostatisticsThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  3. 3.Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast CenterThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  4. 4.Division of Medical Oncology, Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast CenterThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  5. 5.Department of Internal MedicineThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  6. 6.Department of OncologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  7. 7.School of Health & Rehabilitation SciencesThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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