Clinical and demographic characteristics associated with the receipt of chemotherapy treatment among 7951 elderly metastatic colon cancer patients
Among older individuals diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer (mCC) there is limited evidence available that describes the characteristics associated with advancing to second- and subsequent lines of treatment with chemotherapy/biologics. Our objective was to describe the trends and lines of treatment received among elderly mCC patients. Elderly beneficiaries diagnosed with mCC from 2003 to 2007 were identified in the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare dataset. Beneficiaries were followed up until death or censoring. Treatment lines were classified in combinations of chemotherapies and biologics. Modified Poisson regression was used to predict receipt of lines of treatment. Analyses controlled for age, race/ethnicity, gender, marital status, state buy-in during diagnosis year, SEER-registry site, Charlson comorbidity index (CCI), poor performance indicators, surgery of primary site, and surgery of regional/distal sites. Among 7951 Medicare beneficiaries identified with mCC, 3266 initiated therapy. Of these, 1440 advanced to second-line treatment. Of these, 274 advanced to a subsequent-line treatment. Surgeries of the primary tumor site and of the regional/distal sites and marital status were the most significant variables associated with advancing through second- and subsequent-line treatments. Greater than 80 years of age, African American race, SEER-registry area, less than 6 months state buy-in assistance in mCC diagnosis year, and having poor performance indicators were inversely associated with receipt of second- or subsequent-line treatments. Among elderly individuals diagnosed with mCC, we identified demographic, clinical, and regional factors associated with receipt of second- and subsequent-line chemotherapy/biologics. Additional research is warranted to understand the role of physician versus patient preferences as well as geographic differences explaining why patients advance through lines of chemotherapy.