Patients triaged to neoadjuvant chemotherapy have higher rates of sarcopenia: An opportunity for prehabilitation

P. P. Fadadu, C. L. Polen-De, M. E. McGree, A. L. Weaver, M. R. Moynagh, N. Takahashi, C. L. Langstraat, W. A. Cliby, A. Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare baseline body composition measures (BCM), including sarcopenia, between patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) undergoing primary cytoreductive surgery (PCS) versus neoadjuvant chemotherapy/interval cytoreductive surgery (NACT/ICS) and evaluate changes in BCM pre-NACT versus pre-ICS. Methods: Patients with stage IIIC/IV EOC who underwent PCS or NACT with curative intent between 1/1/2012 and 7/31/2016 were included. Computed tomography scans were evaluated via a semi-automated program to determine BCM. Measures evaluated include skeletal muscle area (SMA), skeletal muscle density (SMD), skeletal muscle index (SMI), and skeletal muscle gauge (SMG). Sarcopenia was defined as SMI <39.0 cm2/m2. Results: The study included 200 PCS patients and 85 NACT/ICS patients, of which 76 had both pre-NACT and pre-ICS scans. NACT patients were significantly more likely to be sarcopenic compared to PCS patients (40.0% vs 27.5%, p = 0.04). Mean SMA (107.3 vs 113.4 cm2, p = 0.004) and mean SMG (1344.6 vs. 1456.9 (cm2 x HU)/m2, p = 0.06) were lower in NACT patients. Among NACT/ICS patients, mean SMI significantly decreased −1.4 cm2/m2 (p = 0.005) at the time of surgery, resulting in a non-statistically significant increase in the percentage of sarcopenic patients from baseline (40.8% vs. 50.0%, p = 0.09). Conclusions: Sarcopenia is more common in patients with advanced EOC undergoing NACT compared to PCS when using an evidence-based triage system for triage decisions. Body composition changes significantly over the course of NACT. Sarcopenia may be an indicator of debility and another factor for consideration in treatment planning. Further research into body composition's effects on prognosis and altering sarcopenia is necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-44
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Body composition
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Prehabilitation
  • Sarcopenia
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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