Melisa Wong on Age Disparities in Treatment for NSCLC Recurrence

July 25, 2016
Melisa Wong, MD

Melisa Wong, MD, Oncology Chief Fellow, Hematology/Oncology at the University of California San Francisco, discusses differences among age groups in the treatment of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Melisa Wong, MD, Oncology Chief Fellow, Hematology/Oncology at the University of California San Francisco, discusses differences among age groups in the treatment of non—small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

In a study involving more than 9000 patients with NSCLC, Wong found that the older a patient was, the less likely he or she was to receive active treatment for recurrence. There was about a 25% drop in the likelihood of getting active treatment for every decade a patient aged, according to Wong.

The study did not explore why this disparity exists, but Wong theorized that it may be due to either bias, since patients over 70 may seem unfit to receive treatments such as chemotherapy, or the choice of some older patients to more comfortably live out the remainder of their life.