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Lung Cancer. 2009 Feb;63(2):264-70. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2008.05.003. Epub 2008 Jul 22.

Trends and predictors of first-line chemotherapy use among elderly patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer in the United States.

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  • 1i3 Innovus, Medford, MA, USA.



This study assessed first-line chemotherapy treatment patterns over time and identified predictors of chemotherapy use and treatment selection among elderly patients with newly diagnosed Stage IIIB/IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the United States.


Patients aged 65 years and older newly diagnosed with Stage IIIB/IV NSCLC between 1997 and 2002 were identified and followed through 2003 using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database to evaluate temporal trends in chemotherapy treatment. Multivariate logistic regression models were estimated to identify predictors of chemotherapy treatment and factors associated with use of cisplatin/carboplatin (platinum) and either a taxane or gemcitabine versus other treatments.


Chemotherapy use increased from approximately 28% of Stage IIIB/IV NSCLC patients diagnosed in 1997 to 36% of patients diagnosed in 2002. Doublet therapy was most commonly used as first-line therapy, received by 74% of chemotherapy-treated patients across all study years. Use of doublet therapy with platinum and either a taxane or gemcitabine also increased over time (with the largest increase for gemcitabine combinations from 0.3% in 1997 to 11.8% in 2002). Males were more likely than females to be treated with chemotherapy (odds ratios [95% CI]: 1.14 [1.06-1.22]), as were patients in the Northeast and South relative to patients in the West (1.24 [1.13-1.36] and 1.33 [1.20-1.47], respectively).


Use of first-line chemotherapy treatment among elderly Stage IIIB/IV NSCLC patients is low, but appears to be increasing, with potential regional and gender differences in treatment. These findings are likely to be of interest to clinicians and policymakers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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