Effect of age on survival benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy in elderly patients with stage III colon cancer

Ilene H. Zuckerman, Thomas Rapp, Ebere Onukwugha, Amy Davidoff, Michael A. Choti, James Gardner, Brian Seal, C. Daniel Mullins

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To estimate the modifying effect of age on the survival benefit associated with adjuvant chemotherapy receipt in elderly patients with a diagnosis of Stage III colon cancer. DESIGN: Observational, retrospective cohort study using two samples: an overall sample of 7,182 patients to provide externally valid analyses and a propensity score-matched sample of 3,016 patients to provide more internally valid analyses by reducing the presence of treatment endogeneity. An interval-censored survival model with a complementary log-log link was used. Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals were obtained for all regressions. SETTINGS: Data from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database and the linked Medicare enrollment and claims database were used. PARTICIPANTS: Selected patients were aged 66 and older and had a diagnosis of Stage III colon cancer. Patients were followed from surgery to time of death or censorship. MEASUREMENTS: The outcome was colon cancer-specific death during the follow-up period. Receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy was measured according to the presence of a claim for 5-fluorouracil or leucovorin within 6 months after surgery. RESULTS: All elderly patients had a significant survival benefit associated with adjuvant chemotherapy receipt, although the survival benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy was not uniform across all age groups. CONCLUSION: These findings have important clinical and policy implications for the risk-benefit calculation induced by treatment in older patients with Stage III colon cancer. The results suggest that there is a benefit from chemotherapy, but the benefit is lower with older age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1403-1410
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume57
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009

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Keywords

  • Elderly
  • SEER
  • Stage III colon cancer
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

Zuckerman, I. H., Rapp, T., Onukwugha, E., Davidoff, A., Choti, M. A., Gardner, J., ... Mullins, C. D. (2009). Effect of age on survival benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy in elderly patients with stage III colon cancer. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 57(8), 1403-1410. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02355.x