Chemotherapy less likely to benefit older patients with breast cancer
the ONA take:
Examining data from Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database, researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) found that chemotherapy does not improve survival for older women with breast cancer.
SEER database provided information on 14,440 women with stage I to IIIA hormone receptor-negative breast cancer and 26,893 men and women with stage III colon cancer. All diagnoses were made between 1992 and 2009, and all patients were older than 65 years.
Risk of death from all causes decreased by age among the women who had breast cancer (30% for women ages 65 to 69 years; 26% for ages 70 to 74 years; 24% for ages 75 to 79). The risk of mortality was not significantly reduced for women older than 80 years.
However, this trend was not seen among men and women with colon cancer. Chemotherapy remained effective for these patients until age 89 years.
The investigators noted that previous research showed that chemotherapy is inefficient in patients older than 70 years with breast cancer, but the sample sizes were small. The larger sample size used in this study provides strong evidence to support this finding.
Chemotherapy does not improve survival for older women with breast cancer.
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