BACKGROUND: Nearly half of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) are over 70 years at the time of diagnosis. While the survival of patients with myeloma has improved in the last decade, several studies have suggested no significant change for the elderly patients. These patients often have other comorbidities and are less likely to tolerate standard treatment approaches. We retrospectively studied the treatment patterns, outcomes, and prognostic factors in patients over 75 years of age.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We identified 212 patients who were older than 75 years from among 1545 patients seen at the Mayo Clinic within 90 days of diagnosis during 1999 to 2008. We only included 139 patients in whom complete treatment details were available.
RESULTS: The median age was 80 years (range: 76-94) with 20 (14%) patients older than 85 years; 79 (57%) were male. Thirty-five patients (25%) had a history or coexistence of one or more malignancies. Chromosome analysis and FISH were performed in 65% and 22% respectively. Abnormal cytogenetics were seen in 30 (33%) of the 90 tested patients. The median survival of the 139 elderly patients was 27 months (95% CI: 20~35) compared to 62 months (56~68) for 1,290 patients ≤ 75 years of age seen during the same period. Sixty-nine (50%) patients received one or more novel agents (thalidomide, lenalidomide, pomalidomide, bortezomib) and showed longer median survival (40 months vs 13 months) compared with those not receiving these agents (p=0.0008). Age over 85, initial poor performance score > 1, thrombocytopenia, elevated serum LDH or beta2-microglobulin, response more than stable disease to first therapy resulted in inferior survival. Among them, only performance status had the persistent significance in multivariate analysis.
CONCLUSION: Older patients receiving newer therapies appear to have a better outcome, which is still lagging behind the younger patients. A poor performance score at diagnosis predicts for eventual poor outcome.
Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.