Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, with a median age of diagnosis of 66 years. Anthracycline-containing regimens are the most common treatments, but toxicity concerns can limit their use in patients older than 80 years. Understanding treatment patterns and associated survival in adults older than 80 years (vs adults aged 65-80 years) can help determine effective management strategies in this population. We sought to describe the impact of age on treatment regimens used and associated survival in older adults with DLBCL.
Data for 17,859 patients aged ≥65 years diagnosed with DLBCL from 2006 to 2017 were obtained from the California Cancer Registry. Detailed treatment information for each patient was extracted from treatment text fields. Multivariable logistic regression models examined characteristics associated with no treatment and multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models examined the influence of treatment on overall survival and cancer specific survival.
Across both examined age groups (65-80 years and older than 80 years), the most common treatment was anthracycline-containing regimens followed by other drug combinations. For patients older than 80 years, fewer received anthracyclines (32.4%) and more received other drug combinations (17.6%) or had no treatment (13.1%) vs those aged 65-80 years (61.6% anthracyclines, 10.4% other combinations, 5% no treatment). Women were less likely to receive treatment, as were those who were older, had more comorbidities, received treatment at non-National Cancer Institute designated cancer centers, or were diagnosed more recently. For patients older than 80 years, anthracyclines and R-CVP conferred a survival advantage compared to other combinations.
In this large, population-based group of older adults with DLBCL, patients older than 80 years were less likely to receive initial treatment and more likely to receive other drug combinations despite a survival advantage with more standard anthracycline and nonanthracycline regimen protocols.