In older cancer patients, polypharmacy is at least as common as it is in individuals of the same age without cancer. However, information related to polypharmacy in older cancer patients is limited. The aim of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of polypharmacy in older breast cancer patients at the time of diagnosis and its association with treatment preferences and disease outcome.
A total of 418 breast cancer patients who were 65 and older at the time of diagnosis between 2001 and 2014 were retrospectively analyzed. Polypharmacy has been defined according to the number of drugs that an individual takes or to the risk of at least one severe drug interaction. Patients were considered as polypharmacy (Arm A, n = 84) and non-polypharmacy group (Arm B, n = 334). Kaplan–Meier survival analysis was carried out for disease free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). Two-sided P values of
The median follow-up time for this analysis was 37.5 months. Patient's clinical and pathological characteristics are well-balanced between two arms. In patients with polypharmacy five year DFS rate was 63.5% whereas in patients without polypharmacy DFS rate was 67.9% (P = 0.699). Five-year overall survival rate in Arm A was 68%, while in Arm B was 75.7% (P = 0.249). The association between polypharmacy and disease outcome was also evaluated in “very old” breast cancer patients who are 80 years and older. In patients with polypharmacy three year DFS rate was 56.1% whereas in patients without polypharmacy, DFS rate was 88.2% (P = 0.031). Three-year overall survival rate was 88.2% and 64.5%, respectively (P = 0.105).
The prognostic effect of polypharmacy which is a common geriatric problem on survival has been evaluated in older breast cancer patients. The association between polypharmacy and DFS was found significant in patients 80 years and older. We believe our study contribute the ongoing research by showing the predictive effect of polypharmacy in very old breast cancer patients
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All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.