Treatment of older breast cancer patients with high recurrence risk

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2003 Jun;46(3):241-6. doi: 10.1016/s1040-8428(03)00023-4.


Adjuvant treatment of elderly women affected by breast cancer who have a high risk of recurrence is one of the most questionable issues in clinical oncology. The use of tamoxifen in women with hormone receptor-positive tumors is a relatively simple therapeutic option considering the favourable toxicity profile, whereas the administration of adjuvant chemotherapy is more complicated and a variety of aspects need to be considered. The estimated life expectancy, the presence and degree of comorbid conditions, the geriatric assessment and estimated benefit from treatment should be taken into account. Due to the lack of data from clinical trials in women over the age of 70, the approach is still experimental. Clinical trials evaluating the role of adjuvant chemotherapy in high risk patients are currently being developed and hopefully in the near future, more convincing data on the best drugs, regimens and benefits for the treatment of elderly breast cancer patients will become available.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant / adverse effects
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Recurrence
  • Registries
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • SEER Program
  • Texas
  • United States