Impact of age on survival of patients with ovarian cancer
Clinical Trials as Topic
In an effort to determine if there are significant differences in outcome between elderly (> or = 65 years of age) and younger (< 65 years of age) women with epithelial ovarian cancer we examined the survival of patients with this malignancy who underwent their initial surgical evaluation at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center from January 1987-January 1991. The actuarial median overall survival for the 98 younger patients has not been reached but will exceed 4 years, compared to a median survival of 24 months for the 48 elderly patients (P < 0.0001). For individuals with advanced (stages 3-4) disease, excluding patients with tumors of low malignant potential, the median survival for the younger patient population has also not been reached and will exceed 4 years, compared to 21 months for the older population (P < 0.0001). Even in the limited number of patients with local/regional (stages 1-2) ovarian cancer, there was a statistically significant superior survival for the younger group of patients (P < 0.02). With a single exception, all deaths were believed to be due principally to disease progression, rather than to an unrelated comorbid medical event. We conclude that elderly patients with ovarian cancer experience a significantly inferior survival than younger individuals with this malignancy. Evaluation of larger populations will be required to confirm the results of this analysis and to probe for explanations for the striking survival differences we have observed.