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

Researchers discover specific tumor environment that triggers cells to metastasize

November 21, 2017
A team of bioengineers and bioinformaticians at the University of California San Diego have discovered how the environment surrounding a tumor can trigger metastatic behavior in cancer cells. Specifically, when tumor cells ...

New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young

November 21, 2017
After years of rigorous research, a team of scientists has identified the genetic engine that drives a rare form of liver cancer. The findings offer prime targets for drugs to treat the usually lethal disease, fibrolamellar ...

Clinical trial suggests new cell therapy for relapsed leukemia patients

November 20, 2017
A significant proportion of children and young adults with treatment-resistant B-cell leukemia who participated in a small study achieved remission with the help of a new form of gene therapy, according to researchers at ...

Cell-weighing method could help doctors choose cancer drugs

November 20, 2017
Doctors have many drugs available to treat multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. However, there is no way to predict, by genetic markers or other means, how a patient will respond to a particular drug. This can lead to ...

Researchers discover a new target for 'triple-negative' breast cancer

November 20, 2017
So-called "triple-negative" breast cancer is a particularly aggressive and difficult-to-treat form. It accounts for only about 10 percent of breast cancer cases, but is responsible for about 25 percent of breast cancer fatalities.

Study reveals new mechanism used by cancer cells to disarm attacking immune cells

November 20, 2017
A new study by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC - James) identifies a substance released by pancreatic cancer cells that protects ...

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.