Although elderly men, particularly patients with low-risk prostate cancer and a life expectancy less than 10 years, are unlikely to benefit from prostate cancer active therapy, treatment rates in this group are high.
By using the population-based Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program linked to Medicare data from 2004 to 2005, we examined the effects of clinical and nonclinical factors on the selection of prostate cancer active therapy (ie, radical prostatectomy, external beam radiation therapy, brachytherapy, or androgen deprivation therapy) in men aged≥75 years with a new diagnosis of localized prostate cancer. Multivariate logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for receiving prostate cancer active therapy.
The majority of men aged≥75 years were treated with prostate cancer active therapy (81.7%), which varied by disease risk level: low, 72.2%; intermediate, 83.7%; and high, 86.4%. Overall, in older men, the percentage of the total variance in the use of prostate cancer active therapy attributable to clinical and nonclinical factors was minimal, 5.1% and 2.6%, respectively. In men with low-risk disease, comorbidity status did not affect treatment selection, such that patients with 1 or 2+ comorbidities were as likely to receive prostate cancer active therapy as healthy men: OR=0.98; 95% CI, 0.76-1.27 and OR=1.19; 95% CI, 0.84-1.68, respectively. Geographic location was the most powerful predictor of treatment selection (Northeast vs Greater California: OR=2.41; 95% CI, 1.75-3.32).
Clinical factors play a limited role in treatment selection among elderly patients with localized prostate cancer.