Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

ELCC 2019: Does Age Affect Toxicity in Immunotherapy-Treated Patients With NSCLC?

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Monday, May 6, 2019

Research recently presented at the 2019 European Lung Cancer Congress (ELCC) in Geneva (Abstract 169P_PR) found that elderly patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were treated with immunotherapy had shorter overall survival but similar rates of treatment toxicity when compared with younger patients. However, the presenters noted that prospective randomized clinical trials along with further real-word data are essential to clarify the role of immunotherapy in elderly patients.

“Our results suggest that elderly patients could have worse survival outcomes with immunotherapy than younger patients, without differences in terms of toxicity,” noted Elena Corral de la Fuente, MD, of the Hospital Universitario Ramon y Cajal, Madrid, and colleagues, in a press release from the ELCC.

The retrospective study identified 98 patients with advanced NSCLC who received immunotherapy at a single center between 2014 and 2018. More than a quarter of patients included in the study (27.5%) were aged at least 70 years.

These elderly patients experienced a notably shorter overall survival than younger patients (median = 5.5 vs. 13 months; hazard ratio = 3.86; P < .0001) as well as decreased progression-free survival (1.8 vs. 3.6 months; hazard ratio = 2.1; P = .012). However, researchers found no statistically significant differences in treatment-related adverse events between elderly and younger patients (P = .535).

Among all patients, immunotherapy was found to have been administered primarily in the second line (61%) or third line or beyond (24.5%). Of the 98 patients included, 52% had undergone nivolumab treatment. The PD-L1 status was known in 50% of participants.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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