Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas in 137 patients aged 70 years or older: A retrospective European Organizaztion for Research and Treatment of Cancer lymphoma group study

U. Tirelli, V. Zagonel, D. Serraino, J. Thomas, B. Hoerni, A. Tangury, U. Ruhl, P. Bey, N. Tubiana, W. P M Breed, K. J. Roozendaal, A. Hagenbeek, P. S. Hupperets, R. Somers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The results of a European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) retrospective study on non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in elderly patients (≥ 70 years of age) seen in Europe in 1984 are reported. A precodified form was sent to 55 European institutes in order to evaluate the incidence of NHL in the elderly with regard to natural history, treatment-related toxicity, response, and survival. Thirteen institutes participated in the study. One hundred thirty-seven cases of NHL were observed in the elderly during 1984, making up 28% of the total number of NHL seen in those institutes. The median age was 77 years; 21% of the patients had favorable (low-grade) and 73% unfavorable (intermediate- and high-grade) histology, according to the Working Formulation. Stage at presentation was localized (I and II) in 60% and advanced in 37% of the patients. Most of the physicians used standard therapy regimens at reduced doses, from the beginning of the treatment. Sixty patients (44%) underwent a 'conservative' treatment (one or two antineoplastic drugs or local field radiotherapy) and 77 (56%) an 'aggressive' treatment (polychemotherapy regimens or extended field radiotherapy). Response was similar between the two treatment groups, but severe and lethal toxicity was significantly higher among patients treated with aggressive therapy. Prospective randomized studies are clearly needed to define the optimal treatment in elderly patients with advanced unfavorable NHL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1708-1713
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Volume6
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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