Publication Abstract

Authors: Fang P, He W, Gomez DR, Hoffman KE, Smith BD, Giordano SH, Jagsi R, Smith GL

Title: Influence of Age on Guideline-Concordant Cancer Care for Elderly Patients in the United States.

Journal: Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 98(4):748-757

Date: 2017 Jul 15

Abstract: PURPOSE: To examine the frequency of guideline-concordant cancer care in elderly patients, including "older" elderly (age ≥80 years). METHODS AND MATERIALS: Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare dataset in patients aged ≥66 years diagnosed with nonmetastatic breast cancer (n=55,094), non-small cell lung (NSCLC) (n=36,203), or prostate cancer (n=86,544) from 2006 to 2011, chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation (RT) treatments were identified using claims. Pearson χ(2) tested associations between age and guideline concordance. RESULTS: Older patients were less likely to receive guideline-concordant curative treatment: in stage III breast cancer, receipt of postmastectomy RT (70%, 46%, and 21% in patients aged 66-79, 80-89, and ≥90 years, respectively; P<.0001); in stage I NSCLC, RT or surgery (89%, 80%, and 64% in age 66-79, 80-89, and ≥90 years; P<.0001); in stage III NSCLC, RT or surgery plus chemotherapy (79%, 58%, and 27% in age 66-79, 80-89, and ≥90 years; P<.0001); and in intermediate/high-risk prostate cancer, RT or prostatectomy (projected life expectancy >10 years: 85% and 82% in age 66-69 and 70-75 years; and ≤10 years: 70%, 42%, and 9% in age 76-79, 80-89, and ≥90 years; P<.0001). However, older patients were more likely to receive guideline-concordant de-intensified treatment: in stage I to II node-negative breast cancer, hypofractionated postlumpectomy RT (9%, 16%, and 23% in age 66-79, 80-89, and ≥90 years; P<.0001); in stage I estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, observation after lumpectomy (12%, 42%, and 84% in age 66-79, 80-89, and ≥90 years; P<.0001); in stage I NSCLC, stereotactic body RT instead of surgery (7%, 16%, and 25% in age 66-79, 80-89, and ≥90 years; P<.0001); and in lower-risk prostate cancer, no active treatment (25%, 54%, and 68% in age 66-79, 80-89, and ≥90 years; P<.0001). CONCLUSION: Actual treatment of older elderly cancer patients frequently diverged from guidelines, especially in curative treatment of advanced disease. Results suggest a need for better metrics than existing guidelines alone to evaluate quality and appropriateness of care in this population.