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Port or PICC for breast cancer patients?


PURPOSE: We aimed to compare the complication rate between port catheters (PC) and peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC) for the administration of postoperative chemotherapy for breast cancer.

METHODS: All patients treated from January 2010 to August 2012 at the Centre Henri Becquerel for early breast cancer requiring postoperative chemotherapy were retrospectively screened. The primary endpoint was the occurrence of a major complication related to the central venous catheter. Major complications were defined as any grade 3 event according to CTCAE 4.0, delay in chemotherapy >7 days, change of the device, life-threatening event, event requiring a hospitalization, or a prolongation of hospitalization.

RESULTS: A total of 448 patients were included; 290 had a PC and 158 a PICC. Overall, 31 major complications related to the central venous catheter were observed: 13 for patients with a PC (4.5 %) and 18 for patients with a PICC (11.4 %). In univariate analysis, having a PICC was the only factor significantly associated with a higher risk of major complications (HR = 2.83, p = 0.0027). We observed a trend for a higher risk of major complications for patients older than 60 years or with BMI >25 (p = 0.06). In multivariate analysis, having a PICC was the only predictive factor of major complications (HR = 2.89, p = 0.004).

CONCLUSIONS: In univariate and multivariate analysis, having a PICC instead of a PC was the only predictive factor of device-related major complication. If confirmed prospectively by the NCT02095743 ongoing trial, this result might modify the management of adjuvant chemotherapy administration.


Lefebvre, L., Noyon, E., Georgescu, D., Proust, V., Alexandru, C., Leheurteur, M., Thery, J.C., Savary, L., Rigal, O., Di Fiore, F., Veyret, C. and Clatot, F. (2015) Port catheter versus peripherally inserted central catheter for postoperative chemotherapy in early breast cancer: a retrospective analysis of 448 patients. Supportive Care in Cancer. September 5th. .

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