Relevance of a Geriatric Assessment for Elderly Patients With Lung Cancer—A Systematic Review

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Lung cancer is predominantly a disease of the elderly: one half of all newly diagnosed patients will be > 70 years old. In the Netherlands, > 12,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. We sought to assemble all available evidence on the relevance of a geriatric assessment for lung cancer patients. A systematic Medline and Embase search was performed for studies in which a geriatric assessment was used to detect health issues or that had addressed the association between a baseline geriatric assessment (composed of ≥ 2 of the following domains: cognitive function, mood/depression, nutritional status, activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, polypharmacy, objectively measured physical capacity, social support and frailty) and outcome. A total of 23 publications from 18 studies were included. The median age of patients was 76 years (range, 73-81 years). Despite generally good Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, the prevalence of geriatric impairments was high, with the median ranging from 29% for cognitive impairment to 70% for instrumental activities of daily living impairment. Objective physical capacity and nutritional status, as items of the geriatric assessment, had a consistent association with mortality. The information revealed by a geriatric assessment led to changes in oncologic treatment and nononcologic interventions. The present review has demonstrated that a geriatric assessment can detect multiple health issues not reflected in the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status. Impairments in geriatric domains have predictive value for mortality and appear to be associated with treatment completion. It would be useful to develop and validate an individualized treatment algorithm that includes these geriatric domains.

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