JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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The evaluation of older patients with cervical cancer.

OBJECTIVE: The number of elderly patients being diagnosed with cervical cancer is increasing, and the outcome of cervical cancer related to age is controversial. We conducted a retrospective analysis in patients treated for advanced cervical cancer in order to investigate patient characteristics and prognosis of older patients.

METHODS: Medical records were collected of 159 patients with cervical cancer who had been treated with radiotherapy or combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy from January 2007 to January 2009. The patients were divided into two age groups: (1) patients ≥65 years old, and (2) patients <65 years old. There were 52 women in group 1, 107 in group 2. Prognosis, patient characteristics, treatment, and toxicities were evaluated.

RESULTS: With a median follow-up of 36.5 months, local control for groups 1 and 2 was 88.5% and 79.4%, respectively. Disease-free survival for the two groups was 71.2% and 67.3%; overall survival was 73.1% and 72.9%. As shown by univariate analyses, there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups (P > 0.05). Seventy-six patients had human papillomavirus (HPV) at diagnosis (twelve women ≥65 years, 64 women ≤65 years; P = 0.000). Forty-two women tested positive for HPV 16, while 32 women tested positive for HPV 18 respectively. Pelvic and/or paraaortic lymph-node metastasis was found in 25 patients (eight in group 1, 17 in group 2; P = 0.960) on computed tomography scan. Of the 159 patients analyzed, sixteen patients (16/52) in group 1 received concurrent chemotherapy, while 96 (96/107) in group 2 completed that treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Cervical cancer has the same prognosis in old and young women. Age may not be an independent increased risk of death in women with cervical cancer, and the age-group is at lower risk for virulent HPV strands (HPV 16/18) compared to younger patients. Treatment recommendations were implemented less often for older patients. Radiotherapy remained the most common treatment chosen for elderly patients. This confirms that there is a stronger need to pay attention to the elderly patient.

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