Older Adults with Biliary Tract Cancer: Treatment and Prognosis

Authors

  • Ban S. Lee MD,

    1. Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    2. Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
    3. Department of Internal Medicine, Cheju Halla General Hospital, Jeju, Korea
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    • Contributed equally to this work as first authors.

  • Jin-Hyeok Hwang MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    2. Liver Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    3. Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
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  • Sang H. Lee MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Liver Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    2. Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
    • Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
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  • Sang E. Jang MD,

    1. Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    2. Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
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  • Dong-Won Ahn MD,

    1. Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    2. Liver Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    3. Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
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  • Dae W. Hwang MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    2. Department of Surgery, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
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  • Jai Y. Cho MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    2. Department of Surgery, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
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  • Yoo-Seok Yoon MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    2. Department of Surgery, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
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  • Ho-Seong Han MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
    2. Department of Surgery, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
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  • Soyeon Ahn PhD

    1. Medical Research Collaborating Center, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
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Address correspondence to Sang H. Lee, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University, Bundang Hospital, 166 Gumi-ro, Bundang-gu, Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do 463–707, South Korea. E-mail: gidoctor@snubh.org

Abstract

Objectives

To compare survival in older (≥65) and younger (<65) individuals with biliary tract cancer (BTC) and to determine whether treatment efficacy varies according to age.

Design

Retrospective cohort study and nested case–control study.

Setting

Tertiary referral center in Korea.

Participants

Five hundred thirty–one individuals diagnosed with BTC from 2003 to 2011.

Measurements

Demographic and clinical characteristics of 326 older (≥65) and 205 younger (<65) individuals with BTC were compared. Differences in survival were also assessed after matching according to propensity score.

Results

There were no significant differences in sex, symptoms and signs, tumor histology, stage, or surgery between the two groups, but older participants had more comorbidities and poorer performance status and underwent less chemotherapy and radiotherapy (< .05). Survival of the two groups was compared. After adjustment for baseline characteristics using the propensity score method, survival was still comparable (= .72). When survival of older participants in the treatment group (TG, those who underwent surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy) was compared with that of those in the supportive care group (SCG, those who received only supportive care), those in the TG had a longer survival time than those in the SCG (< .001). This result was confirmed in the propensity analysis (including individuals undergoing surgery, < .001; excluding individuals undergoing surgery, < .001). In the multivariable Cox analysis, surgical resection and chemotherapy were significantly associated with longer survival, and advanced tumor stage, lower baseline serum albumin level, and greater comorbidity were found to significantly predict poor survival. Age was not associated with survival in individuals with BTC (= .33).

Conclusion

Older age was not associated with poor survival in BTC, and treated individuals had longer survival in the older BTC population. Therefore, treatment should not be restricted on the basis of age.

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