Perspectives and limits of cancer treatment in an oldest old population

Beatrice Di Capua, Andrea Bellieni, Domenico Fusco, Maria Antonietta Gambacorta, Luca Tagliaferri, Emanuele Rocco Villani, Roberto Bernabei, Vincenzo Valentini, Giuseppe Ferdinando Colloca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Population of oldest old will grow dramatically in the next future and cancer, physiologically related to aging, will be very prevalent among them. Lack of evidence is a huge problem to manage cancer in oldest old and will be more and more in the next years. Aims: Our purpose was to investigate the characteristics of a population of oldest old patients with cancer treated in the Radiation Oncology Unit of Fondazione Policlinico A. Gemelli IRCCS. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study. The primary outcome was to evaluate which characteristics of the population could influence the choice of oncological treatment (with radical or non-radical intent). Results: We identified a total of 348 patients: 140 were on follow-up; 177 were under treatment; 31 were considered not eligible for treatments. Patients under treatment had a high comorbidity index (mean Charlson Comorbidity Index 5.4), and a high prevalence of polypharmacy (mean number of drugs 5.6). More than half (53.1%) was treated with radical intent. Patients treated with radical intent were 1 year younger (87.1 years old vs 88.1 years old), more performant (ECOG 0.7 vs 1.3), and had less prevalence of metastatic neoplasia (6.4% vs 34.9%); comorbidities and drugs did not show differences in the two groups. Conclusion: Oldest old, usually not considered in international guidelines, are treated for oncological disease, often with radical intent. The treatment seems not to be tailored considering comorbidities but on performance status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2831-2837
Number of pages7
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Volume33
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Elderly
  • Geriatric oncology
  • Oldest old
  • Personalized medicine
  • Radiation oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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