Age as a prognostic factor in ovarian carcinoma: The gynecologic oncology group experience

Authors

  • Tate Thigpen M.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Medical Oncology, Departments of Medicine, and Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Mississippi School of Medicine, Jackson, Mississippi
    • GOG Administrative Office, Suite 1945, 1234 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Mark F. Brady B.S.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York
    • GOG Administrative Office, Suite 1945, 1234 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
    Search for more papers by this author
  • George A. Omura M.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Medicine and Gynecology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
    • GOG Administrative Office, Suite 1945, 1234 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
    Search for more papers by this author
  • William T. Creasman M.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
    • GOG Administrative Office, Suite 1945, 1234 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
    Search for more papers by this author
  • William P. Mcguire M.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, Baltimore, Maryland
    • GOG Administrative Office, Suite 1945, 1234 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
    Search for more papers by this author
  • William J. Hoskins M.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Gynecology Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
    • GOG Administrative Office, Suite 1945, 1234 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Stephen Williams M.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology, Indiana University and the Indianapolis VA Medical Center, Indianapolis, Indiana
    • GOG Administrative Office, Suite 1945, 1234 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Background. The Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) has completed six major randomized trials in advanced ovarian carcinoma over the 15-year period between 1976 and 1990. This large database of 2123 patients provides a well-studied patient population with which to examine the importance of age as a prognostic factor.

Methods. The 2123 patients studied in the six GOG trials were analyzed as a group to determine important prognostic factors. Further analyses were then conducted to examine outcome by decade of life from younger than 40 years old to 70 years old and older and to evaluate the interaction of age with other significant prognostic variables.

Results. Three major prognostic factors were identified as exerting an influence on patient outcome in the overall patient population: age, volume of residual disease, and performance status. With regard to the effect of age, patients older than 69 years of age exhibited significantly poorer survival than those younger, even after correction for stage, residual disease, and performance status. This was not altered by variations in drugs, doses, and schedules; but there was no evidence that older patients tolerated intensive schedules less well than younger patients.

Conclusions. Two practical conclusions result from this analysis. First, there is no evidence that modification of the drugs and schedules that make up the regimens used can overcome the adverse effect of older age. Second, age does not adversely affect the dose intensity that can be achieved; hence, age in itself is not reason to withhold or attenuate intensive chemotherapy, particularly in light of the fact that older patients have a poorer prognosis.

Ancillary