Diagnosis status and pathological diagnosis derived treatment of elderly lung cancer patients over 75 years old

Guannan Wu, Xiaoling Gu, Dongmei Yuan, Yanwen Yao, Wen Yang, Tangfeng Lv, Yong Song


Background: The number of lung cancer in the elderly is increasing. However, a disturbing number of elderly patients failed to get pathological diagnosis and therapeutic outcomes are worse than the young. This study is conducted to explore the diagnosis and treatment status of lung cancer in patients over 75 years old.
Methods: Patients diagnosed with lung cancer between September 1, 2010 and October 30, 2017 were continuously screened. The pathological diagnosis must be based on the cytology or histology diagnosis. The clinical diagnosis must be built on both typical imaging features and increased tumor markers. Clinical features and survival information were obtained and analyzed.
Results: A total of 338 primary lung cancer inpatients were finally included with an age of 78.02±2.94 years. The most frequent comorbidities were hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular disease; 290 of all these patients were pathologically diagnosed while the other 48 patients only got a clinical diagnosis. Among the pathological diagnosis, adenocarcinoma, squamous carcinoma and small cell lung cancer counted for 91.72%. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) detection was performed in 126 patients and 41 of them were sensitive mutated. Among all included patients, 150 were treated by the best supportive treatment (BST). Anti-cancer treatment is significantly associated with better survival than BST (P<0.001). Definite sensitive mutation is associated with improved survival than undetected patients in EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) treatment patients (P=0.039).
Conclusions: Pathological diagnosis of lung cancer in elderly patients is relatively deficient. Pathologic and molecular pathological diagnosis derived anti-cancer treatment is effective in improving survival.