ESMO E-Learning: Treatment of Advanced NSCLC in the Elderly

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss management of elderly patients with advanced NSCLC to maximise clinical outcomes
  • Outline the strategy for use of chemotherapy and targeted treatments in elderly patients with advanced NSCLC
  • Summarise the safety and efficacy data clarifying the role of different chemotherapy and targeted agents in the care of elderly patients with advanced NSCLC
Title Duration Content CME Points CME Test
Treatment of Advanced NSCLC in the Elderly 25 min. 37 slides 1 Take Test
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The treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the elderly is a challenging and emerging issue. Lung cancer is the most common cancer in the world, and the majority of lung cancer patients are above the age of 65 years. The challenging demographics will result in an even higher number of elderly people who will develop lung cancer and are in need of subsequent cancer treatment and care.

This patient population may suffer from other comorbid conditions or geriatric syndromes, complicating their treatment and care. “Biological" age rather than "chronological" age should guide medical decisions. In the domain of geriatric assessment, no easy tools are available to date, with additional limited evidence that would impact on treatment decision making.

There are very few specifically designed phase III trials in this area. While there are some data from randomised trials including fit elderly patients, there is only a limited amount of information regarding vulnerable or frail elderly patients with advanced NSCLC.

This E-Learning module summarises data on anticancer treatments in the elderly NSCLC population and serves as excellent educational tool for the interpretation of data from clinical studies and on how treatment decisions could be made from currently available evidence.

The module also critically discusses currently missing information that would allow the optimal management of this population and would improve the quality of life (e.g. no agreement on the definition of “elderly” based on simple age cut-off, no easy tools available for geriatric assessment; the role of some therapies should be confirmed with more feasible regimens, the role of some chemotherapy regimens still needs to be investigated; targeted therapies convenient but toxicity should be considered. There are very few data on chemotherapy in octogenarians).

This E-Learning module is intended for medical oncologists, pulmonologists, geriatric oncologists, and others who care for elderly patients with advanced NSCLC.

This E-Learning module is a perfect summary of the current clinical evidence and forward-looking teaching material for further personalisation of breast cancer treatment.

Last update: 10 December 2012

The author has reported that he has received honoraria as member of the speakers’ bureau and of the advisory board of Roche and Eli Lilly