Management of elderly patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer: a single-center experience
Journal Paper/Review - Jul 2, 2013
Früh Martin, Besrour H, Gillessen Sommer Silke, Joerger Markus, Hitz Felicitas, Savidan A, Cerny Thomas, Ess S
Background: Optimal management of elderly patients (≥70 years) with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains debatable. We compared survival and treatment of advanced NSCLC between elderly and younger patients. Methods: From the cancer registry, we identified 188 patients treated with chemotherapy for stage IV NSCLC. Patient characteristics, survival, toxicity, chemotherapy regimen and response were compared between age groups (patients 50-69 vs. ≥70 years). Results: There were 96 young and 92 elderly patients. The majority were male (70%) and had adenocarcinoma (53%). More elderly had an ECOG performance status >1 (59 vs. 42%, p = 0.04). Median survival was longer for young patients (11.5 vs. 10.8 months, hazard ratio, HR 1.43, p = 0.04). Patients ≥75 years had a significantly worse outcome compared to the young and patients aged 70-74 years (11.5 vs. 12.8 vs. 7.7 months, HR 1.71, p = 0.01). Hospitalization rate did not differ. Elderly had more hematological toxicities (56 vs. 32%, p = 0.01) and less frequently received first-line platinum combinations (96 vs. 69%, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Elderly patients had a marginally worse survival compared to young patients. Despite the less frequent use of combination chemotherapy, elderly patients experienced toxicity more often. Survival of those ≥75 years was significantly worse, indicating the urgent need of further research particularly in this age group.