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According to results recently published in Gynecologic Oncology, women who are 65 years of age or older with advanced ovarian cancer should receive the same treatment as their younger counterparts.

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of gynecologic cancer-related death in the United States. Relapsed ovarian cancer refers to cancer that has returned or progressed following prior therapies. Taxanes and platinums are types of chemotherapy agents commonly used in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Elderly patients are often treated less aggressively than younger patients, even when they have no other significant medical conditions. Elderly women with advanced ovarian cancer often receive less aggressive therapy than the standard platinum/taxane combination.

Researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center recently conducted a clinical study to compare the outcomes of women of different ages with advanced ovarian cancer. This study included 108 women who were 65 years of age or older and 184 women younger than 65 years; participants in both age groups had Stages IIIC-IV ovarian cancer. Patients underwent surgery and were then treated with the standard platinum/taxane chemotherapy combinations.

  • Overall anticancer responses were similar: they were achieved in 79% of the younger women and 70% of the older women.
  • Progression-free survival and overall survival were similar between the two groups of patients.
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The authors concluded that elderly women with advanced ovarian cancer can tolerate the same treatment younger patients receive and achieve similar benefit.

Women who are 65 years of age or older with advanced ovarian cancer may wish to speak with their physician regarding their individual risks and benefits of all treatment options.

Reference: Eisenhauer E, Tew W, Levine D, et al. Response and outcomes in elderly patients with Stages IIIC-IV ovarian cancer receiving platinum–taxane chemotherapy. Gynecologic Oncology. 2007;106:361-387.

Related News:Women with Ovarian Cancer Receive Optimal Treatment from High-volume Specialists(04/23/2007)

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