Small Cell Lung Cancer in Elderly Patients


TURKISH THORACIC JOURNAL, vol.9, no.1, pp.7-12, 2008 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.7-12
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


The aim of this study was to compare the clinical characteristics, treatment and survival of young and elderly (> 65 years) patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Between 1995 and 2005, a total of 217 previously untreated patients with histologically proven small cell lung cancer were included in this study. The baseline pretreatment evaluations involved a complete history, physical examination and laboratory tests. Survival was defined as the time from lung cancer diagnosis to death or the last known date that the patient was reported to be alive. Fifteen patients (6.9%) were women and 202 patients (93.1 %) were men. Sixtyone patients were = 65 years of age. The most common presenting symptoms were shortness of breath, cough and chest pain. In the elderly groups, 28 patients were defined as having a limited stage, and the 33 remaining patients had extensive disease. In the younger groups, 67 patients had limited disease, and 89 patients had extensive disease. All patients received chemotherapy consisting of arboplatin/Etoposid/Ifosfamid (161 patients) or Cisplatin/Etoposid (56 patients) regimens. The median survival time for the elderly patients was 9.53 months with a predicted 32.8% 1-year survival, and for younger patients 9.93 months with a predicted 37.7% 1-year survival (Log rank= 1.60, p=0.206). In limited stage patients, median survival was 10.53 months in the elderly patients, and 12.77 months in the younger patients (Log rank= 4.93, p=0.026). In extensive stage patients, there was no significant difference in the median survival time between the two age groups (8.60 months and 8.80 months, respectively; Log rank= 0.06, p=0.805). The overall response rate was 65.6% and 71.2% for the elderly and younger patients, respectively. The most common toxic effects of chemotherapy included nausea/vomiting and myelosuppression. In conclusion, there were no differences in the demographic characteristics and treatment outcome between the age groups in patients with SCLC, and advanced age alone should not preclude chemotherapy in patients with SCLC.