Challenges of managing elderly men with prostate cancer

Gautam G. Jha, Vidhu Anand, Ayman Soubra, Badrinath R. Konety

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The incidence of prostate cancer increases with age. Current evidence suggests that prostate cancer is under treated in patients aged â ‰1 70 years, despite evidence of efficacy and acceptable toxicity. Radical cystectomy and definitive radiotherapy are often denied owing to fears of post-operative complications and radiotherapy-associated gastrointestinal and genitourinary toxicity. However, modern radical prostatectomy techniques provide excellent clinical outcomes with low perioperative morbidity. Moreover, volume-restricted intensity-modulated radiation therapy is a significant improvement over previous 2D conformal radiotherapy with similar efficacy and lower toxicity. Androgen-deprivation therapy is also under-prescribed among the elderly, owing to concerns of increases in cardiac deaths and osteoporosis acceleration. However, prospective trials have not identified any increase in cardiovascular mortality among elderly men receiving androgen-deprivation therapy compared to age-matched controls. Most patients on androgen deprivation eventually progress to a castration-resistant state. At this stage, the disease still responds to newer agents that target the androgen pathway and to chemotherapy. Among the elderly, chemotherapy is under-prescribed even though it has been demonstrated to be palliative and improve survival. We describe the trends in prostate cancer management in the elderly and the importance of assessing comorbidity status, tumour characteristics, and health status, including a complete geriatric evaluation, before making treatment recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-364
Number of pages11
JournalNature Reviews Clinical Oncology
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

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