Under-treatment of elderly patients with ovarian cancer: a population based study

Fourcadier et al. (2015) BMC Cancer 2015, 15:937 

Background

Ovarian cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women in France, and mainly affects the elderly. The primary objective of this study was to compare treatment of ovarian cancer according to age.

Methods

All patients with invasive cancer (n = 1151) diagnosed between 1997 and 2011 in the Herault Department of southern France were included. Demographic data (age, area of residence), cancer characteristics (stage, histology, grade) and treatment modality (type, period and location of treatment) were analysed. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression was used to compare treatment by age.

Results

Ovarian cancer was less treated in elderly compared to younger patients, regardless of the type of treatment. This difference was more pronounced for chemotherapy, and was maximal for surgery followed by chemotherapy (odds ratio (OR) for surgery for patients aged >70 vs those aged <70 years = 0.47 [0.24–0.91], OR for chemotherapy, age >70 vs <70 = 0.30 [0.16–0.55] and OR for surgery plus chemotherapy, age >70 vs <70 = 0.14 [0.08–0.28]). This effect of age was independent of other variables, including stage and grade. The probability of receiving standard treatment, in accordance with recommendations, was reduced by 50 % in elderly patients compared to their younger counterparts. Overall and net survival of elderly patients with standard treatment was similar to those of younger patients treated outside standard treatment.

ovarian survival.png
10-year overall survival by age and treatment recommendation.Image source: biomedicalcentral.com

Conclusions

Elderly women with ovarian cancer were therapeutically disadvantaged compared to younger women. Further studies including co morbidities are necessary to refine these results and to improve therapeutic management of elderly patients with ovarian cancer.

Read the full article via BMC Cancer

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