Treatment of ovarian cancer in the older woman

Gynecol Oncol. 2015 Jan;136(1):136-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2014.10.028. Epub 2014 Nov 3.


Half of ovarian cancer patients are over the age of 65, and as the population ages, the number of older women with ovarian cancer is increasing. Older women with ovarian cancer receive less surgery and chemotherapy than younger women, suffer worse toxicity from surgery and chemotherapy than younger women, and have worse survival. Performance status has been shown to be an inadequate tool to predict toxicity of older patients from therapy. Use of formal geriatric assessment tools is a promising direction for stratifying older patients on trials. We review current data on outcomes with surgery and chemotherapy in the older population, and discuss geriatric assessment tools being studied to aid decisions regarding which older patients will tolerate standard therapy and which will not. Modified treatment regimens and interventions to decrease morbidities in the vulnerable older population should be useful.

Keywords: Elderly; Geriatric; Ovarian.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy*