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Future Oncol. 2019 Sep 10. doi: 10.2217/fon-2019-0489. [Epub ahead of print]

Sarcomas and old age: few options for such a large patient population.

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Sarcoma Unit, Royal Marsden Hospital & Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK.


Although 40% of cases of soft tissue sarcoma (STS) are diagnosed in patients aged ‚Č•65 years, this group is largely excluded from or under-represented in clinical trials and receives disproportionately less treatment than younger patients. Pooled analyses and subgroup analyses of Phase II and III randomized controlled trials of systemic therapy in advanced STS suggest the need to revisit this treatment paradigm. In various analyses, efficacy outcomes in older patients did not differ from those in younger patients or in the overall population.¬†Available evidence supports treating elderly STS patients with similar treatment as that for younger patients. However, as some treatments are less well tolerated in older patients, safety must be considered when selecting treatment. As physiological rather than chronological age is a more appropriate criterion for treatment selection, geriatric assessment has a central role in trial design and routine clinical practice. The majority of evidence for the efficacy and safety of systemic therapy in elderly, advanced STS patients has been generated with trabectedin, which is the only agent approved for first-line use in patients unsuited to receive doxorubicin-based regimens.


advanced soft tissue sarcomas; elderly; geriatric assessment; physiological age; trabectedin


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