Purpose: To evaluate management and outcome of patients ≥70 years admitted to our Medical Oncology ward and evaluated by Multidimensional Geriatric Assessment before treatment with standard or "elderly-friendly" chemotherapy regimens, a list of which was developed within our Geriatric Oncology Program based on published clinical trials and personal experience. Patients and methods: Charts of patients treated from January 2004 to January 2006 were reviewed for choice of treatment, tumor response, toxicities and survival. Results: 117 patients (median age 75 years) were divided into Frail (F) (34.2%) and Not-Frail patients (NF: 33.3% Fit plus 32.5% Vulnerable). The two groups did not differ according to the use of "elderly-friendly"chemotherapy regimens (40% of F pts and 39% of NF pts), dose reductions ≥25% (37.5% vs. 31.2%) and grade 3-4 toxicities (52.5% vs. 58.4%). Early interruption of treatment due to toxicity or patient's refusal (42.5 vs. 15.6, p = 0.001) and deaths within 30 days from last chemotherapy administration (22.5% vs. 3.9%, p = 0.003) were significantly different. F patients showed clinical or radiological response in 21.2% of cases, and subjective improvement in 22.6%. After a median follow-up of 19 months, median survival of F patients (6.4 months) is shorter compared to NF group (16.9 months, p = 0.012). Conclusions: The use of "elderly-friendly"chemotherapy regimens was limited to less than a half of cases. F patients may respond to chemotherapy but display higher rates of premature withdrawal and early deaths compared to NF patients, with a shorter survival. Clinical trials particularly aimed at frail patients are urgently needed.
- Geriatric oncology
- Multidimensional geriatric assessment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research