Flexible bronchoscopy in very old patients with lung cancer
To the Editor,
Recently, Okachi et al.  published in the European Geriatric Medicine the results of flexible bronchoscopy in very old patients with lung cancer, and concluded that this technique leads to appropriate treatment decision in this group of patients. Our experience accords with that reported by Okachi et al.  in terms of safety and utility of bronchoscopy in octogenarians ; and we consider that we can contribute to this conclusion with additional information.
In our series of octogenarian patients who underwent flexible bronchoscopy, lung cancer was eventually diagnosed in 35% of them . 44% of these patients were treated with curative intent. Very interestingly, the one-year survival of these patients was of 33%, almost identical to the 1-year survival of lung cancer patients as a whole in our country (36%) .
In view of our findings and those reported by Okachi et al. , we can state that the age of the patients could not be considered a criterion for exclusion of further clinical tests in lung cancer suspicion. In view of the safety, diagnostic utility, and prognostic implications, very old patients deserve the adequate clinical evaluation, including bronchoscopy.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The study was approved by the Clinical Research Ethics Committee of the Hospital General Universitario de Elche, Spain.
Although specific informed consent was not required for this retrospective study, an informed consent for each bronchoscopy was obtained before the procedure.