Older versus younger patients with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, gastroesophageal junction, and stomach: A pooled analysis of eight consecutive North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) trials

Aminah Jatoi, Nathan R. Foster, James R. Egner, Patrick A. Burch, Philip J. Stella, Joseph Rubin, Shaker R. Dakhil, Daniel J. Sargent, Brian R. Murphy, Steven Robert Alberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Whether elderly patients with metastatic esophageal, gastroesophageal, and gastric cancer do as well with chemotherapy as their younger counterparts was investigated in this pooled analysis. In total, 367 patients from 8 consecutive, first-line trials were included: i) etoposide + cisplatin; ii) 5-fluorourucil + leucovorin; iii) 5-fluorouracil + levamisole; iv) irinotecan; v) docetaxel + irinotecan; vi) oxaliplatin + capecitabine; vii) docetaxel + capecitabine; and viii) bortezomib + paclitaxel + carboplatin. One hundred and fifty-four (42%) patients were ≥65 years old (range: 65-86), and 213 younger (range: 20-64). Elderly patients had worse performance scores (2-3): 19 vs. 8% (p<0.0001). Rates of grade 3+ adverse events across all chemotherapy cycles in univariate and multivariate analyses (adjusted for gender, performance score, and stratified by individual study) were higher among elderly patients. Rates of neutropenia, fatigue, infection, and stomatitis in elderly vs. younger patients were 31 vs. 29% (p=0.02 by multivariate analyses); 15 vs. 5% (p=0.01); 9 vs. 4% (p=0.03); 6 vs. 1% (p=0.04). In contrast, duration of chemotherapy, overall survival, and progression-free survival were comparable. Although age should not preclude trial entry, these adverse event rates suggest a need to develop more tolerable regimens for older patients with these malignancies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-606
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010



  • Adverse events
  • Chemotherapy
  • Elderly
  • Esophageal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)

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