Background: Polypharmacy is an important issue in the care of older patients with cancer, as it increases the risk of unfavorable outcomes. We estimated the prevalence of polypharmacy, potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) use, and drug–drug interactions (DDIs) in older patients with cancer in Korea and their associations with clinical outcomes.
Subjects, Materials, and Methods: This was a secondary analysis of a prospective observational study of geriatric patients with cancer undergoing first-line palliative chemotherapy. Eligible patients were older adults (=70 years) with histologically diagnosed solid cancer who were candidates for first-line palliative chemotherapy. All patients enrolled in this study received a geriatric assessment (GA) at baseline. We reviewed the daily medications taken by patients at the time of GA before starting chemotherapy. PIMs were assessed according to the 2015 Beers criteria, and DDIs were assessed by a clinical pharmacist using Lexi-comp Drug Interactions. We evaluated the association between polypharmacy and clinical outcomes including treatment-related toxicity, and hospitalization using logistic regression and Cox regression analyses.
Results: In total, 301 patients (median age 75 years; range, 70–93) were enrolled; the most common cancer types were colorectal cancer (28.9%) and lung cancer (24.6%). Mean number of daily medications was 4.7 (±3.1; range, 0–14). The prevalence of polypharmacy (=5 medications) was 45.2% and that of excessive polypharmacy (=10 medications) was 8.6%. PIM use was detected in 137 (45.5%) patients. Clinically significant DDIs were detected in 92 (30.6%) patients. Polypharmacy was significantly associated with hospitalization or emergency room (ER) visits (odds ratio: 1.73 [1.18–2.55], p < .01). Neither polypharmacy nor PIM use showed association with treatment-related toxicity.
Conclusion: Polypharmacy, PIM use, and potential major DDIs were prevalent in Korean geriatric patients with cancer. Polypharmacy was associated with a higher risk of hospitalization or ER visits during the chemotherapy period.
Implications for Practice: This study, which included 301 older Korean patients with cancer, highlights the increased prevalence of polypharmacy in this population planning to receive palliative chemotherapy. The prevalence of polypharmacy and excessive polypharmacy was 45.2% and 8.6%, respectively. The prescription of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) was detected in 45.5% and clinically significant drug–drug interaction in 30.6% of patients. Given the association of polypharmacy with increased hospitalization or emergency room visits, this study points to the need for increased awareness and intervention to minimize polypharmacy in the geriatric cancer population undergoing chemotherapy. Moreover, specific criteria for establishing PIMs should be adopted for the treatment of older adults with cancer.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to prospectively validate the Korean Cancer Study Group Geriatric Score (KG)-7, a novel geriatric screening tool, in older patients with advanced cancer planned to undergo first-line palliative chemotherapy.
Materials and Methods: Participants answered the KG-7 questionnaire before undergoing geriatric assessment (GA) and first-line palliative chemotherapy. The performance of KG-7 was evaluated by calculating the sensitivity (SE), specificity (SP), positive and negative predictive value (PPV and NPV), balanced accuracy (BA), and area under the curve (AUC).
Results: The baseline GA and KG-7 results were collected from 301 patients. The median age was 75 years (range, 70 to 93 years). Abnormal GA was documented in 222 patients (73.8%). Based on the = 5 cut-off value of KG-7 for abnormal GA, abnormal KG-7 score was shown in 200 patients (66.4%). KG-7 showed SE, SP, PPV, NPV, and BA of 75.7%, 59.7%, 84.4%, 46.0%, and 67.7%, respectively; AUC was 0.745 (95% CI, 0.687 to 0.803). Furthermore, patients with higher KG-7 scores showed significantly longer survival (p=0.006).
Conclusion: KG-7 appears to be adequate in identifying patients with abnormal GA prospectively. Hence, KG-7 can be a useful screening tool for Asian countries with limited resources and high patient volume.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate chemotherapy patterns and changes in quality of life (QOL) during first-line palliative chemotherapy for Korean patients with unresectable or metastatic/recurrent gastric cancer (GC).
Materials and Methods: This was a non-interventional, multi-center, prospective, observational study of 527 patients in Korea. QOL assessments were conducted using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Questionnaires (QLQ)-C30 and QLQ-STO22 every 3 months over a 12-month period during first-line palliative chemotherapy. The specific chemotherapy regimens were selected by individual clinicians.
Results: Most patients (93.2%) received combination chemotherapy (mainly fluoropyrimidine plus platinum) as their first-line palliative chemotherapy. The median progression-free survival and overall survival were 8.2 and 14.8 months, respectively. Overall, “a little” changes (differences of 5-10 points from baseline) were observed in some of the functioning or symptom scales; none of the QOL scales showed either “moderate” or “very much” change (i.e., = 11 point difference from baseline). When examining the best change in each QOL domain from baseline, scales related to some aspects of functioning, global health status/QOL, and most symptoms revealed significant improvements (p < 0.05). Throughout the course of first-line palliative chemotherapy, most patients’ QOL was maintained to a similar degree, regardless of their actual response to chemotherapy.
Conclusion: This observational study provides important information on the chemotherapy patterns and QOL changes in Korean patients with advanced GC. Overall, first-line palliative chemotherapy was found to maintain QOL, and most parameters showed an improvement compared with the baseline at some point during the course.
Background: Older patients have increased risk of toxicity from chemotherapy. Current prediction tools do not provide information on cumulative risk.
Methods: Patients aged = 70 years with solid cancer were prospectively enrolled. A prediction model was developed for adverse events (AEs) = Grade 3 (G3), based on geriatric assessment (GA), laboratory, and clinical variables.
Results: 301 patients were enrolled (median age, 75 years). Median number of chemotherapy cycles was 4. During first-line chemotherapy, 53.8% of patients experienced AEs = G3. Serum protein < 6.7 g/dL, initial full-dose chemotherapy, psychological stress or acute disease in the past 3 months, water consumption < 3 cups/day, unable to obey a simple command, and self-perception of poor health were significantly related with AEs = G3. A predicting model with these six variables ranging 0–8 points was selected with the highest discriminatory ability (c-statistic= 0.646), which could classify patients into four risk groups. Predicted cumulative incidence of AEs = G3 was discriminated according to risk groups.
Conclusions: This prediction tool could identify the risk of AEs = G3 after chemotherapy and provide information on the cumulative incidence of AEs in each cycle.
Clinical Trial Id WHO ICTRP number, KCT0001071