Patterns of care and survival of older patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Journal of Geriatric Oncology 2019 March 24 [Link]

Linton A, Blinman P, Kao S, van Zandwijk N



Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a cancer that primarily affects older adults. However this patient population is frequently under-represented in clinical studies. Therefore, we studied the impact of advancing age on treatment utilisation and clinical outcomes in an extensive series of minimally selected MPM patients.


Patients with MPM receiving compensation from the New South Wales (NSW) Dust Diseases Authority (2002-2009) were assessed. They were categorised by age (<70 years, 70-80 years or > 80 years) and chi-square testing was used to assess the relationship between clinical and demographic variables, age, treatment and overall survival (OS).


We identified 910 patients; 41% were aged <70 years, 40% were aged 70-80 years, and 19% were aged >80 years old. Median OS decreased with increasing age: 13.5 months in <70 years, 9.5 months in 70-80 years and 7.1 months in >80 years as did chemotherapy use (66%, 35% and 8% respectively). Radical surgical intervention, adjuvant, and palliative radiotherapy were less frequently used with advanced age. A Kaplan Meier analysis revealed that there was a significant survival advantage (p < .001) for patients <70 and 70-80 years receiving chemotherapy (16.8 vs 7.0 months; 13.9 vs 5.8 months respectively), but not for patients >80 years.


Advancing age group of NSW patients with MPM was associated with reduced treatment utilisation and a decline in OS. Prospective studies are warranted to verify if current treatment guidelines are relevant for the older adults with MPM.