Wednesday, June 10, 2015

ASCO: Knowledge Part II, Managing OC in Older Women

This early Sunday morning education session presented information on how to manage ovarian cancer in the older women. Many women including myself do get diagnosed at an early age but the median age for diagnosis of ovarian cancer in women is 63 years of age.

Ovarian Cancer Surgery in the Older Woman : Keep It Short and Sweet
Dr Linda Duska

Chronologic age is not the same as physiologic age and age does not define the ability of a woman to undergo surgery or medical treatment. Retrospective studies have showed that women with ovarian cancer who have no gross residual disease after surgery have better outcomes. Older women overall have a worse prognosis stage for stage than younger women. The GOG182 study found that there was a lower chemo completion rate among older women and that toxicity was higher. It has also been found that for women of age 65 and older surgery complications increase and there is higher mortality. It was recommended that an assessment tool like ones for frailty be used before considering surgery in women over 65. It was found that frail women were more likely to be obese and to have post-op complications.

Ovarian Cancer in the Older Women : Less is More
Dr Kathleen Moore

Studies that focus on the older woman are limited. SEER Medicare data shows that the use of chemotherapy in women decreases as age increases. Women > age 70 have higher hematologic toxicity and stop treatment early. A study done in France showed that while in pre-treatment and during treatment the geriatric assessment showed that depression was a poor prognostic factor. A US study, GOG 273 (women age 70 +)  showed that dose modifications , timing changes and variations on chemo schedule may help the older woman complete chemotherapy.
The EWOC ( Elderly Women with OC) studies showed that chemo toxicity could be predicted by 3 factors – depression, dependence and performance status.  The MITO-5 and MITO -6 studies found that weekly carbo taxol was associated with lower toxicity and higher quality-of-life scores.

Clinical Trials in the Older Patient: Who,When and Why?
Dr William Tew

There are not many clinical trials for older patients.
Dr Tew stated that it is important to define who your patient is and what they want. He also recommended assessing functional age not chronologic age. The Cancer and Aging Research Group has developed and assessment tool that can be used before starting chemotherapy. The assessment tool looks at factors that can predict grade 3-5 toxicities in older patients. Some of the tool variables are age, impaired hearing, inability to walk a block, decreased social activity etc.

From this session I learned that:
  • better outcomes occur when older women finish chemotherapy- even if that means the dosage/timing needs to  need modified.
  • Depression and poor functional ability can impact treatment success
  • Age itself does not predict whether or not a woman can undergo surgery or treatment .
  • Assessment tools ( fraility / performance status) should be used before surgery

Tomorrow’s post will be on Value Concepts in the Management of Ovarian Cancer

Every Day is a Blessing!

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