[Head and neck cancer treatment in the elderly]

Rev Med Suisse. 2015 Sep 30;11(488):1803-7.
[Article in French]


We compared the treatment modalities as well as the oncologic outcome between young elderly (65-79 years old), elderly (>80 years old) and the reference population (<65 years old.) We reviewed 1047 patients treated between 2002 and 2012. Tumor sites, TNM stages, type of treatment, and the oncologic results are compared with survival statistics. The elderly group was associated with an increase in palliative treatment, more women and advanced T stages. For the 947 patients treated with curative intent, 5 year recurrence free survival was comparable. The overall-survival decreases with the age because of intercurrent deaths. Nevertheless, the treatment efficacy is similar. In conclusion, an advanced age is associated with worse survival, without a decrease in loco-regional control. The chronological age should not be used as a predictive factor for treatment response.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy*
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Palliative Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Switzerland / epidemiology