Case series of treatment approaches in fit nonagenarians with stage IV non-small-cell lung cancer
An increasing number of nonagenarians are treated for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC); however guidelines and case series describing the care of very elderly patients with advanced NSCLC are not available.Medical records of patients treated at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center between 2007 and 2009 who had NSCLC were reviewed, and those with stage IV NSCLC and age 90 or older were included in this case series.Three successive fit nonagenarians were identified out of the one hundred and one cases with stage IV NSCLC, and their clinical course was summarized. The first case depicts a conservative approach (best supportive care), while the later cases describe the use of platinum-based (carboplatin-pemetrexed) and anti-epidermal growth factor targeted therapies. This series illustrates the diversity of approaches now available and the evolving treatment paradigm as it applies to fit elderly with NSCLC, including nonagenarians. It also emphasizes the importance of considering performance status rather than biologic age when making treatment decisions.