Background: This study aimed to evaluate the characteristics of active anti-cancer treatment (AAT) compared with best supportive care (BSC) in elderly patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Methods: A retrospective analysis of 144 patients, aged 70 or older, with stage IIIb/IV NSCLC from 672 patients with confirmed lung cancer, was conducted. Results: Median age at diagnosis was 77 years and median survival time was five months. On multivariate analysis, AAT independently contributed to a decreased hazard ratio of death (P = 0.04), whereas male gender (P = 0.004), a body mass index of less than 18.5 (P = 0.004), and a poor performance score were associated with an increased risk of death (P < 0.001). The 52 subjects receiving AAT experienced longer survival than the 92 subjects receiving BSC (median seven months [AAT] versus three months [BSC]; P < 0.001). When sub-classified into five-year age intervals, AAT was a significant advantage in overall survival (OS) to patients aged 70-74, but not to those ≥75 years old. Conclusions: AAT for patients ≥70 years old with advanced NSCLC extended OS. However, care should be taken in decisions on active anti-cancer treatments for patients over 75 years old. A prospective multicenter trial is required in the near future.
- Active anti-cancer treatment
- Non-small cell lung cancer