We performed a multicenter study to validate the concept that a simple comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) can identify elderly, non-fit patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in whom curative treatment is not better then palliation, and to analyze potential benefits of treatment modulation after further subdividing the non-fit category by CGA criteria. One hundred and seventy-three patients aged > 69 treated with curative or palliative intent by clinical judgement only were grouped according to CGA into fit (46%), unfit (16%) and frail (38%) categories. Two-year overall survival (OS) was significantly better in fit than in non-fit patients (84% vs. 47%; p < 0.0001). Survival in unfit and frail patients was not significantly different. Curative treatment slightly improved 2-year OS in unfit (75% vs. 45%) but not in frail patients (44% vs. 39%). CGA was confirmed as very efficient in identifying elderly patients with DLBCL who can benefit from a curative approach. Further efforts are needed to better tailor therapies in non-fit patients.
Keywords: Lymphoma and Hodgkin disease; chemotherapeutic approaches; immunotherapy.