Published online Aug 14, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i30.3497
Revised: September 19, 2010
Accepted: September 26, 2010
Published online: August 14, 2011
AIM: To assess feasibility, tolerability and efficacy of gemcitabine-based chemotherapy in patients ≥ 75 years old with advanced pancreatic cancer.
METHODS: All consecutive patients ≥ 75 years old with advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma were included in this retrospective study. Necessary criteria to receive chemotherapy were: performance status 0-2, adequate biological parameters and no serious comorbidities. Other patients received best supportive care (BSC).
RESULTS: Thirty-eight patients (53% women, median age 78 years, range 75-84) with pancreatic cancer (metastatic: n = 20, locally advanced: n = 18) were studied. Among them, 30 (79%) were able to receive chemotherapy [median number: 9 infusions (1-45)]. Six patients (23%) had at least one episode of grade 3 neutropenia and one patient developed a grade 3 hemolytic-uremic syndrome. No toxic death occurred. Three patients (11%) had a partial tumor response, 13 (46%) had a stable disease and 12 (43%) had a tumor progression. Median survival was 9.1 mo (metastatic: 6.9 mo, locally advanced: 11.4 mo).
CONCLUSION: Tolerance and efficacy of gemcitabine-based chemotherapy is acceptable in elderly patients in good condition, with similar results to younger patients.