Management of primary metastatic breast cancer in elderly patients-An international comparison of oncogeriatric versus standard care

Willemien van de Water, Esther Bastiaannet, Kathleen M. Egan, Anton J.M. de Craen, Rudi G.J. Westendorp, Lodovico Balducci, Cornelis J.H. Van de Velde, Gerrit Jan Liefers, Martine Extermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: An oncogeriatric approach may affect management of elderly patients with breast cancer. However, little is known about oncogeriatric care in the metastatic setting. Therefore, we performed an international comparison of management of elderly patients with primary metastatic disease who were treated in two different care settings. Materials and Methods: Patients who were ≥ 70 years at diagnosis of primary metastatic disease were eligible. The first cohort comprised a population-based cohort of 104 patients (Comprehensive Cancer Center West, The Netherlands), who all received standard care. The second cohort comprised a hospital-based cohort of 42 patients (H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Florida, United States), who all received oncogeriatric care. Results: No large differences in patient and tumor characteristics were observed between both cohorts. Most patients in the standard care cohort received systemic therapy as primary therapy, whereas most patients in the oncogeriatric cohort received a combination of systemic and local therapy. Patients in the standard care cohort received fewer lines of treatment (mean number of treatments 2.1 vs. 3.6, p< 0.001), and particularly received less breast surgery, chemotherapy, and trastuzumab. Three-year overall mortality was 71% (95% CI: 61-83%) as compared to 58% (95% CI: 42-75%) among patients in the oncogeriatric care cohort (multivariable HR: 1.59 [95% CI: 0.88-2.87], p= 0.125). Conclusions: In primary metastatic breast cancer, oncogeriatric care intensifies treatment and might improve survival in elderly patients. Future studies on a larger scale should investigate the potential for improved survival, and whether this is accompanied by a better (preservation of) quality of life and functional status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-259
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Geriatric Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Geriatric oncology
  • Oncogeriatric care
  • Primary metastatic


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