Impact of undertreatment on reduced survival in older lung cancer patients quantified
medwireNews: A modeling study presented at the 2018 NCRI Conference in Glasgow, UK, estimates that around 38% of the survival difference between older and younger patients with lung cancer may be due undertreatment in the older age group.
Applying the g-computation formula to data from the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on 4233 lung cancer patients diagnosed between 2012 and 2015, the researchers found that the 1-year survival rate was 15.9% lower for individuals aged at least 75 years than for younger patients, after adjusting for factor such as stage, comorbidities, and ECOG performance status.
The majority (9.9%) of this difference was accounted for by the so-called natural direct effect of age, which was expected as older patients tend to have a worse clinical profile, said presenting author Abdul Qadr Akinoso-Imran, from Queen’s University Belfast in the UK. But the remaining 6.0% was attributed to the natural indirect effect, that is, due to undertreatment.
Akinoso-Imran concluded that “[t]his study highlights the potential of offering more treatment to older lung cancer patients, and the need for comprehensive geriatric assessment in these patients with diverse health issues and outcomes.”
Speaking to medwireNews about the next steps, Finian Bannon (Queen’s University Belfast) – the principal investigator of the study – said that they would like to take the research to a bigger platform using Public Health England data and also to extend it to colorectal cancer patients as data regarding their performance status is readily available.
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