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Do older and younger patients derive similar survival benefits from novel oncology drugs? A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Arciero, Vanessa S; Cheng, Sierra; Mason, Robert; McDonald, Erica; Saluja, Ronak; Chan, Kelvin K W.
Age Ageing; 47(5): 654-660, 2018 Sep 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29788041


older patients are commonly believed to derive less benefit from cancer drugs, even if they fulfil clinical trial eligibility [Talarico et al. (2004, J Clin Oncol, 22(22):4626-31)]. We aim to examine if novel oncology drugs provide differential age-based treatment outcomes for patients on clinical trials.


a systematic review of randomised control trials (RCTs) cited for clinical efficacy evidence in novel oncology drug approvals by the Food and Drug Administration, European Medicines Agency and Health Canada between 2006 and 2017 was conducted. Studies reporting age-based subgroup analyses for overall or progression-free survival (OS/PFS) were included. Hazard ratios (HRs) and confidence intervals (CIs) for age-based subgroups were extracted. Meta-analyses with random effects were conducted, examining patient subgroups <65 and ≥65 years separately and pooled HRs of studies primary endpoints (OS or PFS) compared to examine if differences existed between age-based subgroups. Sensitivity analyses were conducted for cancer type, primary endpoint and systemic treatment.


one-hundred-two RCTs, including 65,122 patients, met the inclusion criteria. One study reported age-based toxicity and none reported age-based quality of life (QOL) results. Pooled HRs [95% CIs] for patients <65 and ≥65 years were 0.61 [0.57-0.65] and 0.65 [0.61-0.70], respectively, with no difference between them (P = 0.14). Sensitivity analyses revealed similar results.


our results suggest that older and young patients, who fulfil clinical trial eligibility, may derive similar relative survival benefits from novel oncology drugs. There is, however, a need to report age-based toxicity and QOL results to support patient discussions regarding the balance of treatment benefit and harm, to encourage informed decision-making.
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