A comparison of patient characteristics, prognosis, treatment modalities, and survival according to age group in gastric cancer patients
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, Cerrahpasa Medical School, Istanbul University, Istanbul, 34098, Turkey
World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2012, 10:234 doi:10.1186/1477-7819-10-234Published: 2 November 2012
The aim of this study was to investigate age-specific incidence rates and to compare disease stage, treatment, and survival according to age group in patients with gastric adenocarcinoma.
Gastric cancer patients treated at our hospital between 1999 and 2010 were retrospectively evaluated. We divided the cases into two subgroups: group 1 consisted of patients older than 70 years at the time of treatment, and group 2 included patients aged 70 years or younger. In all, 151 patients over 70 years of age and 715 patients age 70 years or younger were analyzed. Categorical and continuous variables were summarized using descriptive statistics and compared using statistical software. Overall survival rates were estimated via the Kaplan-Meier method.
Median age at diagnosis was 58 years (range: 22 to 90 years). Between 1999 and 2002 the annual median age for patients aged older than70 years was 9.8%, which increased to 20% between 2007 and 2010. The one-year survival rate for patients with metastatic disease (stage IV) was 10.9% (95% CI: 8.9% to 12.9%) and 27.8% (95% CI: 17.3% to 38.2%) in groups 1 and 2, respectively (P = 0.015). The five-year survival rate for patients with non-metastatic disease (in whom curative surgery was performed) was 15.5% (95% CI = 12% to 19%) and 26.9% (95% CI = 25.9% to 27.9%) in groups 1 and 2, respectively (P = 0.03). There were no significant differences in gender, tumor localization in the stomach, tumor histology, perineural invasion (PNI), lymphovascular invasion (LVI), tumor stage, or type of surgery between the two groups. However, fewer of the patients in group 1 underwent adjuvant treatment (P = 0.02) and palliative chemotherapy (P = 0.007) than group 2 patients that were non-metastatic and metastatic at presentation, respectively.
Groups 1 and 2 were similar in terms of histopathological features and surgical modality; however, the survival rate was lower in group 1 than in group 2. The incidence of gastric cancer was higher in the patients older than 70 years of age. Additional randomized studies are needed to further assess the safety and clinical benefit of chemotherapy in gastric cancer patients older than70 years of age.