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The influence of age and co-morbidity on treatment and prognosis of ovarian cancer: a population-based study

      Abstract

      Objectives

      With the rising mean age, more patients will have one or more other serious diseases at the time of diagnosis of ovarian cancer (co-morbidity). In this study, the independent effects of age and co-morbidity on the application of treatment guidelines and prognosis were evaluated.

      Methods

      All patients with epithelial ovarian cancer diagnosed between 1995 and 2001 in the southern part of The Netherlands (N = 1116) were included.

      Results

      The prevalence of co-morbidity increased from 34% of the age group <70 to 63% of the older age group. Eighty-three percent of the patients with FIGO stage II or stage III younger than 70 years underwent the advised treatment (combination of surgery and chemotherapy) compared to only 45% of the patients aged 70 or older. In a multivariable analysis age, FIGO stage, presence of co-morbidity, and year of diagnosis seemed to be independent predictors of receiving the advised treatment. In multivariable analyses age 70 + (HR = 1.3, 95% CI = 1.03–1.7) and the use of both surgery and chemotherapy (HR = 0.4, 95% CI = 0.3–0.6, reference is only surgery) were independent prognostic factors for overall survival.

      Conclusions

      Even in the absence of co-morbidity, standard combination therapy was prescribed significantly less often for elderly patients with FIGO II or III ovarian cancer. Age and combined treatment of surgery and platinum-based chemotherapy were independent prognostic factors. Co-morbidity did not seem to have a prognostic effect.

      Keywords

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