open access

Vol 16, No 2 (2011)
Published online: 2011-03-01
Submitted: 2010-03-29
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Treatment of lung cancer in the elderly: Influence of comorbidity on toxicity and survival

Joana Cardia, Cármen Calçada, Helena Pereira
DOI: 10.1016/j.rpor.2011.01.001
·
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2011;16(2):45-48.

open access

Vol 16, No 2 (2011)
Published online: 2011-03-01
Submitted: 2010-03-29

Abstract

Background

More than 50% of new cases of lung cancer (LC) are diagnosed in elderly patients. It is necessary to know correct treatment of these patients but there is a lack of evidence-based data regarding this age group, leading to an undertreatment based on a supposed lack of tolerance to radical treatments.

Aim

To evaluate the results of radiotherapy (RT) treatment in elderly patients with LC in our institution and the relation between survival, toxicity and comorbidities.

Materials and methods

We retrospectively analyzed all patients over 70 years old with LC, treated with RT with or without chemotherapy (CT), in the radiotherapy department of the Instituto Português de Oncologia do Porto Francisco Gentil (IPOPFG), between January 2000 and December 2007.

Results

Three-year overall survival (OS) rate was 33.8%. Median progression free survival was 18.1 months. For patients treated with exclusive radical radiotherapy the 3-year OS rate was 51.5% and for patients treated with sequential and concurrent CTRT, 3-year survival rates were 44% and 25.4%, respectively. We did not find a statistical relationship between the presence of comorbidities and survival. Toxicity presented by the patients was not influenced by comorbidities and did not influence survival.

Conclusion

Our results allow us to conclude that elderly patients are likely to benefit from radical treatments. Chemo-radiotherapy seems to increase survival but should be used carefully in old patients outside clinical trials. Comorbidities did not seem to influence survival and toxicity of treatments, although larger studies are necessary to prove this.

Abstract

Background

More than 50% of new cases of lung cancer (LC) are diagnosed in elderly patients. It is necessary to know correct treatment of these patients but there is a lack of evidence-based data regarding this age group, leading to an undertreatment based on a supposed lack of tolerance to radical treatments.

Aim

To evaluate the results of radiotherapy (RT) treatment in elderly patients with LC in our institution and the relation between survival, toxicity and comorbidities.

Materials and methods

We retrospectively analyzed all patients over 70 years old with LC, treated with RT with or without chemotherapy (CT), in the radiotherapy department of the Instituto Português de Oncologia do Porto Francisco Gentil (IPOPFG), between January 2000 and December 2007.

Results

Three-year overall survival (OS) rate was 33.8%. Median progression free survival was 18.1 months. For patients treated with exclusive radical radiotherapy the 3-year OS rate was 51.5% and for patients treated with sequential and concurrent CTRT, 3-year survival rates were 44% and 25.4%, respectively. We did not find a statistical relationship between the presence of comorbidities and survival. Toxicity presented by the patients was not influenced by comorbidities and did not influence survival.

Conclusion

Our results allow us to conclude that elderly patients are likely to benefit from radical treatments. Chemo-radiotherapy seems to increase survival but should be used carefully in old patients outside clinical trials. Comorbidities did not seem to influence survival and toxicity of treatments, although larger studies are necessary to prove this.

Get Citation

Keywords

Lung cancer; Elderly; Radiotherapy; Toxicity; Comorbidity

About this article
Title

Treatment of lung cancer in the elderly: Influence of comorbidity on toxicity and survival

Journal

Reports of Practical Oncology and Radiotherapy

Issue

Vol 16, No 2 (2011)

Pages

45-48

Published online

2011-03-01

DOI

10.1016/j.rpor.2011.01.001

Bibliographic record

Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2011;16(2):45-48.

Keywords

Lung cancer
Elderly
Radiotherapy
Toxicity
Comorbidity

Authors

Joana Cardia
Cármen Calçada
Helena Pereira

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