Among patients with multiple myeloma, elderly patients tend to experience worse outcomes. Patients who are very elderly or who experience comorbidities may not have certain treatment options offered to them secondary to clinician concern for treatment toxicity. This study aimed to analyze the survival disparity between younger and older patients with multiple myeloma to understand if comorbidities play a role in this disparity.
A total of 56,010 patient records were examined, with diagnoses made between 1998 and 2014. Net survival was estimated for each diagnosis period, and flexible parametric models were used to estimate adjusted excess hazard ratios. It was found that net survival increased for all age groups throughout the study.
Furthermore, the researchers found that older patients experienced a higher risk of death from their disease and that adjusting for comorbidities made little impact on survival rates. Because comorbidities were not found to be a significant potential cause of survival disparity, the researchers urge that future clinical trials include older patients to gather more robust data on treating multiple myeloma in this population .
Source: Jones, A., Bowcock, S., & Rachet, B. (2020). Survival trends in elderly myeloma patients. European Journal of Haematology, 106(1), 126–131. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejh.13530