Medline: 11064352

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Similar outcome of elderly patients in intergroup trial 0096.

Yuen AR, Zou G, Turrisi AT, et al.


Elderly patients comprise a significant portion of patients with limited stage small cell lung carcinoma. However, the prognostic importance of age has been controversial, and concern for toxicity often hinders enthusiasm for offering full dose therapy.

In this retrospective analysis of Intergroup Trial 0096, the authors compared the outcome of patients 70 years or older to those younger than 70 years. Patients received cisplatin 60 mg/m(2), Day 1 and etoposide 120 mg/m(2), Days 1-3 for 4 cycles and either once or twice daily concurrent thoracic radiotherapy to 45 grays.

Of 381 patients, 50 (13%) were age 70 years or older. The elderly group did not differ significantly from those younger than 70 years with respect to gender distribution, performance status, or weight loss. Severe hematologic toxicity (Grade 4-5: 61% vs. 84%; P < 0.01) and fatal toxicity (1% vs. 10%; P = 0.01) occurred more often among older patients. There were no differences in the frequency of nonhematologic toxicities. Response rate (88% vs. 80%; P = 0.11), event free survival rate (5 year, 19% vs. 16%; P = 0.18), time to local failure, and duration of response did not differ between groups. Overall survival rates (5 year, 22% vs. 16%; P = 0.05) favored those younger than 70 years. Much of the difference in overall survival rates between age groups occurred within the first 6 months on study.

Elderly patients had similar response and survival rates compared with those younger than 70 years. However, toxicity, particularly hematologic, was greater among the elderly. Selected older patients, such as those with a good performance status, should be considered for optimum treatment approaches. Copyright 2000 American Cancer Society.

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