Is chemotherapy in elderly patients with metastatic or recurrent gastric cancer as tolerable and effective as in younger patients?

Divisions of Hematology-Oncology, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.
Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology (Impact Factor: 1.06). 06/2012; 8(2):194-200. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-7563.2011.01501.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To analyze the chemotherapy regimens and outcomes of advanced gastric cancer (AGC) patients older than 70 years of age.
Between May 2001 and October 2009, 1135 patients with metastatic or recurrent gastric cancer received palliative chemotherapy. Of these patients 56 (4.9%) were ≥70 years old and were analyzed retrospectively.
The median age at the time of first-line chemotherapy was 73 years (range, 70-85) and the median Charlson comorbidity index was 0 (0-5). In all 17 patients (30%) received surgery with curative or palliative intent; 43 (77%) were treated by doublet or triplet first-line chemotherapy regimens and 13 patients (23%) received single agent chemotherapy. Median progression-free survival for first-line chemotherapy was 3.97 months (95% CI 2.05-5.89) with an overall response rate of 26%. After the first-line chemotherapy, only 18 of 56 (32%) patients received second-line chemotherapy. The median overall survival (OS) was 12.4 months (95% CI 2.81-21.99). In multivariate analysis, receiving surgery and disease control for first-line chemotherapy were independent prognostic factors for increased OS for all 56 patients.
Patients older ≥70 years with metastatic or recurrent gastric cancer might achieve clinical benefit from chemotherapy. Receiving surgery and response of over more stable disease for first-line chemotherapy were independent prognostic factors for increased OS.

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