Age-Based Comparison of Hematological Toxicity in Patients with Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer

Oncology. 2020 Aug 21:1-8. doi: 10.1159/000507864. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Because of the increasing age of the general population, there is an increasing number of older patients with lung cancer. Cancer chemotherapy often causes severe hematological toxicity in older patients.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to explore the risk factors affecting the hematological toxicity of cytotoxic anticancer drugs in patients with lung cancer.

METHODS: Data were retrospectively collected from 194 patients with lung cancer at Niigata University Medical and Dental Hospital, Japan, between April 2011 and March 2016, when the patients underwent their first round of cytotoxic chemotherapy. The patients were divided into three groups on the basis of age: <65, 65-74, and ≥75 years. Physiological functions and laboratory data before treatment, as well as hematological adverse events following chemotherapy, were compared among the groups.

RESULTS: Patients aged ≥75 years were significantly more likely to experience grade 3 or 4 neutropenia, compared with patients aged <65 years. However, there were no differences in the incidence of anemia or thrombocytopenia among the age groups. The frequency of febrile neutropenia tended to increase with age. Multivariate analysis showed that age ≥75 years, male sex, and a performance status of ≥2 were independent factors for grade 3 or 4 neutropenia. Patients with 2 or 3 of these factors had a significantly higher frequency of neutropenia, compared with patients who had 0 or 1 of these factors.

CONCLUSION: We found that age ≥75 years, male sex, and a performance status of ≥2 were independent risk factors for grade 3 or 4 neutropenia.