Breast cancer (BC) is one of the most studied malignancies in the world, and for good reason; it affects 1 in every 8 women in Australia, is the most common form of cancer amongst women, and is considered one of Australia’s largest health burdens. In Australia, early-stage BC 5-year survival rates are approximately 90%; however, 1 in 20 women whose disease is confined to the breast, and 1 in 6 women whose BC has reached adjacent tissue, will eventually progress to metastatic disease. Five-year survival rates of advanced disease drop to only 40% in Australia. Despite the abundance of research in early stage BC, little is known of the effects of chemotherapy on body composition in patients with metastatic BC. This retrospective study reviewed 98 patients with metastatic BC from 2000-2006, and found through their routine pre- and post-treatment CT scans that, the quality of muscle (muscle attenuation) decreased with paclitaxel chemotherapy treatment, while adiposity and muscle mass remained stable. An unpublished systematic review exploring exercise interventions for metastatic patients with BC has found a total of seven Randomised Control Trials (RCTs), however none of these studies included body composition as an outcome.

Year Manuscript Completed



Chemical and Pharmacologic Phenomena | Oncology


metastatic breast cancer; body composition; muscle strength; physical function; chemotherapy.

Primary Language of Manuscript


01Front.pdf (399 kB)