January 1st 2003
The majority of individuals diagnosed with lung cancer in theUnited States are 70 years of age and older. Defining appropriatetherapy for older patients with non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) isbecoming a major focus of clinical research. In this article, we reviewthe available data on clinical predictors of risk and benefit for elderlyNSCLC patients receiving treatment via a variety of modalities, includingsurgery, radiotherapy, combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy,and chemotherapy alone. The data demonstrate that subgroups ofelderly patients benefit from appropriately selected treatment. Participationof older patients in clinical trials designed to assess efficacy,toxicity, and quality-of-life outcomes for recently developed treatmentmodalities in this population is critical.