Thursday, 3 July 2014

Portrait, treatment choices and management of breast cancer in nonagenarians

Portrait, treatment choices and management of breast cancer in nonagenarians: An ongoing challenge. The Breast, June 2014, Vol. 23(3), p.221-5.

Merv, B., et al.

There are only scarce data on the management of nonagenarians with breast cancer, and more particularly on the place of radiation therapy (RT). We report a retrospective study on patients aged 90 years old or older, with breast cancer, receiving RT. Records from RT departments from five institutions were reviewed to identify patients 90 years old of age and older undergoing RT over past decade for breast cancer. Tumors' characteristics were examined, as well treatment specificities and treatment intent. 

44 patients receiving RT courses were identified, mean age 92 years. Treatment was given with curative and palliative intent in 72.7% and 27.3% respectively. Factors associated with a curative treatment were performance status (PS), place of life, previous surgery, and tumor stage. Median total prescribed dose was 40 Gy (23–66). Hypo fractionation was used in 77%. Most toxicities were mild to moderate. RT could not be completed in 1 patient (2.3%). No long-term toxicity was reported. Among 31 patients analyzable for effectiveness, 24 patients (77.4%) had their diseased controlled until last follow-up, including 17 patients (54.8%) experiencing complete response. At last follow-up, 4 patients (12.9%) were deceased, cancer being cause of death for two of them.
The study shows that breast/chest RT is feasible in nonagenarians. Although the definitive benefit of RT could not be addressed here, hypofractionated therapy allowed a good local control with acceptable side effects.