Study shows fit elderly patients should be considered for therapy

October 15, 2012

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.

Explore further: Chemotherapy and radiation given together could help elderly patients with lung cancer live longer

Related Stories

Chemotherapy and radiation given together could help elderly patients with lung cancer live longer

May 21, 2012
Despite more than two-thirds of lung cancer cases being diagnosed in people 65 years or older, there have been few trials of treatments in this age group, and it is not known if the standard treatment for patients with inoperable ...

Elderly Dutch lung patients' survival improved by new treatment options between 2003-2009

July 6, 2011
New developments such as stereotactic ablative radiotherapy and improvements in surgical care in early-stage lung cancer have led to large survival gains for elderly Dutch patients, according to a population-based study presented ...

Recommended for you

Lung cancer triggers pulmonary hypertension

November 17, 2017
Shortness of breath and respiratory distress often increase the suffering of advanced-stage lung cancer patients. These symptoms can be triggered by pulmonary hypertension, as scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Heart ...

Researchers discover an Achilles heel in a lethal leukemia

November 16, 2017
Researchers have discovered how a linkage between two proteins in acute myeloid leukemia enables cancer cells to resist chemotherapy and showed that disrupting the linkage could render the cells vulnerable to treatment. St. ...

Computer program finds new uses for old drugs

November 16, 2017
Researchers at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have developed a computer program to find new indications for old drugs. The computer program, called DrugPredict, ...

Pharmacoscopy improves therapy for relapsed blood cancer in a first clinical trial

November 16, 2017
Researchers at CeMM and the Medical University of Vienna presented a preliminary report in The Lancet Hematology on the clinical impact of an integrated ex vivo approach called pharmacoscopy. The procedures measure single-cell ...

Wider sampling of tumor tissues may guide drug choice, improve outcomes

November 15, 2017
A new study focused on describing genetic variations within a primary tumor, differences between the primary and a metastatic branch of that tumor, and additional diversity found in tumor DNA in the blood stream could help ...

A new strategy for prevention of liver cancer development

November 14, 2017
Primary liver cancer is now the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide, and its incidences and mortality are increasing rapidly in the United Stated. In late stages of the malignancy, there are no effective ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.