Management of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma in the Elderly Population
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The median age at diagnosis for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is approximately 72 years. Elderly patients pose unique management challenges because of the increased risk of therapy-related toxicities and mortality. Because there are no high-volume retrospective studies, prospective trials, or dedicated treatment recommendations for this population, this investigation addresses a major knowledge gap by examining national practice patterns and postoperative/survival outcomes in elderly MPM patients.
The National Cancer Database was queried for patients aged ≥ 80 years with newly diagnosed nonmetastatic MPM. Multivariable logistic regression ascertained factors associated with observation and surgery. Kaplan–Meier analysis assessed overall survival (OS), and multivariable Cox proportional hazards modeling examined factors associated with OS. Survival was also calculated following propensity matching. Additionally, postoperative outcomes were evaluated in surgical patients.
Of 4526 patients, 2% received surgery and chemotherapy, 22% underwent chemotherapy alone, and 63% were observed. Respective median OS was 12.2, 9.5, and 4.1 months (p < 0.001). Differences between all groups persisted following propensity matching (all comparisons p < 0.05). For the 8% of patients who underwent specified definitive surgery (95% of whom received pleurectomy/decortication), 30- and 90-day mortality rates were 11.0% and 28.5%, respectively. The median length of postoperative hospitalization was 6 days, with 30-day readmission occurring in 7.5% of patients.
The majority of elderly MPM patients in the US are observed, which was associated with poorer OS than chemotherapy and/or surgery. Although highly selected surgery/chemotherapy patients were associated with the longest OS, given the high biases in database studies and high perioperative mortality rates, careful patient selection for combined modality approaches in this population is imperative.
This study has not been previously presented or published elsewhere, either in part or in full.
VV takes responsibility for, and is the guarantor of, the content of this manuscript, including the data and analysis. VV, REW, EBL, SH, AC, SG, JSF, and CBS contributed substantially to the study design, data analysis and interpretation, and the writing of this manuscript.
No research support was received for this study.
Vivek Verma, Rodney E. Wegner, Ethan B. Ludmir, Shaakir Hasan, Athanasios Colonias, Surbhi Grover, Joseph S. Friedberg, and Charles B. Simone II declare they have no conflicts of interest.
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