Study shows fit elderly patients should be considered for therapy

Until there are more validated biomarkers to direct treatment decisions, many physicians use patient age to decide what therapy to give their patients. Literature data report that older patients often go undertreated because of concerns for limited tolerance to toxic therapies. A study, published in the November 2012 issue of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer's (IASLC) Journal of Thoracic Oncology, says that fit elderly non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients should be considered for salvage targeted therapy.

The study looked at 255 patients involved in the Biomarker-Integrated Approaches of Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer Elimination (BATTLE) trial. Subgroups were analyzed comparing age groups 65 and older versus younger than 65 and 70 and older versus younger than 70.

The authors conclude that fit elderly patients should be considered for salvage targeted therapy. As far as toxicity, there was no increased incidence of pneumothorax in patients over 65. There was no difference in overall response rate between any age group or sex. And, there was no difference in progression-free survival between any of the overall age groups.

The authors note that the elderly patients in BATTLE did experience "more nonhematologic toxicities, primarily diarrhea and gastrointestinal complaints, but they were able to undergo diagnostic core needle biopsies and subsequent targeted therapy treatment without increased incidence of pneumothorax or treatment-related mortality." Of note, the study showed had both improved disease control rate and progression-free survival compared with younger men.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Best care for the oldest lung cancer patients

Apr 29, 2010

Although more than two fifths of lung cancers are diagnosed in patients over 70, data from clinical trials on the safest and most effective treatments for this age group are scarce. Now Italian oncologists are conducting ...

Recommended for you

New breast cancer imaging method promising

35 minutes ago

The new PAMmography method for imaging breast cancer developed by the University of Twente's MIRA research institute and the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital appears to be a promising new method that could ...

Palliation is rarely a topic in studies on advanced cancer

1 hour ago

End-of-life aspects, the corresponding terminology, and the relevance of palliation in advanced cancer are often not considered in publications on randomized controlled trials (RCTs). This is the result of an analysis by ...

Breast cancer replicates brain development process

1 hour ago

New research led by a scientist at the University of York reveals that a process that forms a key element in the development of the nervous system may also play a pivotal role in the spread of breast cancer.

Is genetic instability the key to beating cancer?

3 hours ago

Cancerous tumors may be poised at the edge of their own destruction, an insight that could help researchers find new, more effective treatments, suggest SFI External Professor Ricard Solé and colleagues in an April 9 paper ...

Phase 3 study may be game-changer for acute myeloid leukemia

6 hours ago

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers say clinical trials for a new experimental drug to treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are very promising. Patients treated with CPX-351, a combination of the chemotherapeutic drugs cytarabine ...

User comments