Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Health, Prognosis Not Taken Into Account When Treating Older Lung Cancer Patients, Study Finds

03.05.2012
Researchers Recommend Considering Other Illnesses, As Well As Age, Before Starting Treatment

In a study of patients 65 and older with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), younger patients were more likely to receive treatment than older patients, regardless of overall health and prognosis.

The study of more than 20,000 patients, led by a team of physicians at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) and UCSF, found that, for all stages of cancer, treatment rates decreased more in association with advancing age than with the worsening of other illnesses.

Patients between the ages of 65 to 74 who were severely ill from other illnesses, and thus less likely to benefit and more likely to be harmed from cancer treatment, received treatment at roughly the same rate as patients in the same age range with no comorbidities. They were more likely to receive treatment than patients between 75 and 84 with no comorbidities and much better prognoses.

“It’s clear that as human beings and physicians, we fixate on age in deciding whether to pursue cancer treatments, including lung cancer treatments,” said lead author Sunny Wang, MD, an SFVAMC physician and an assistant clinical professor of medicine at UCSF. “Instead, we should be looking at our patients’ overall state of health.”

The study was based on an analysis of the electronic health records of 20,511 patients age 65 and older who were in the VA Central Cancer Registry from 2003 to 2008. It was published on May 1 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

NSCLC is the most common form of lung cancer. The authors cited previous research indicating that older NSCLC patients who are otherwise healthy can benefit from treatment, while those with comorbidities are more vulnerable to the toxicity of cancer treatments and less likely to complete a course of treatment. Significant comorbidity can also limit life expectancy, thus undermining the potential survival benefit of treatment.

“The message here is, don’t base cancer treatment strictly on age,” said Wang. “Don’t write off an otherwise healthy 75 year old, and don’t automatically decide to treat a really ill 65 year old without carefully assessing the risks and benefits for that patient.”

Currently, Wang and her fellow researchers are conducting a follow-up study looking at survival outcomes among the same cohort of patients.

Co-authors of the study are Melisa L. Wong, MD, of UCSF; Nathan Hamilton and J. Ben Davoren, MD, PhD, of SFVAMC and UCSF; Thierry M. Jahan, MD, of UCSF; and Louise C. Walter, MD, of SFVAMC and UCSF.

The study was supported by funds from the Department of Veterans Affairs, UCSF, the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health. Some of the funds were administered by the Northern California Institute for Research and Education.

NCIRE - The Veterans Health Research Institute - is the largest research institute associated with a VA medical center. Its mission is to improve the health and well-being of veterans and the general public by supporting a world-class biomedical research program conducted by the UCSF faculty at SFVAMC.

SFVAMC has the largest medical research program in the national VA system, with more than 200 research scientists, all of whom are faculty members at UCSF.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.

Steve Tokar | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ncire.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Self-organising system enables motile cells to form complex search pattern
07.05.2019 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

nachricht Mouse studies show minimally invasive route can accurately administer drugs to brain
02.05.2019 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

Im Focus: Recording embryonic development

Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells

The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

A simple, yet versatile, new design for chaotic oscillating circuitry inspired by prime numbers

22.05.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Synthesis of helical ladder polymers

21.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

Ultra-thin superlattices from gold nanoparticles for nanophotonics

21.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>