Predicting fitness for chemotherapy in older cancer patients

Thomson, Damien B., McCarthy, Alexandra L., Yates, Patsy, Skeman, Helen, & Walpole, Euan (2013) Predicting fitness for chemotherapy in older cancer patients. In Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) : Building Bridges to Conquer Cancer, 31 May - 4 June 2013, Chicago. (In Press)

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Background: The Vulnerable Elders Survey-13 (VES-13) is increasingly used to screen for older patients who can proceed to intensive chemotherapy without further comprehensive assessment. This study compared the VES-13 determination of fitness for treatment with the oncologist's assessments of fitness.

Method: Sample: Consecutive series of solid tumour patients ≥65 years (n=175; M=72; range=65-86) from an Australian cancer centre. Patients were screened with the VES-13 before proceeding to usual treatment. Blinded to screening, oncologists concurrently predicted patient fitness for chemotherapy. A sample of 175 can detect, with 90% power, kappa coefficients of agreement between VES-13 and oncologists’ assessments >0.90 ("almost perfect agreement"). Separate backward stepwise logistic regression analyses assessed potential predictors of VES-13 and oncologists’ ratings of fitness.

Results: Kappa coefficient for agreement between VES-13 and oncologists’ ratings of fitness was 0.41 (p<0.001). VES-13 and oncologists’ assessments agreed in 71% of ratings. VES-13 sensitivity = 83.3%; specificity = 57%; positive predictive value = 69%; negative predictive value = 75%. Logistic regression modelling indicated that the odds of being vulnerable to chemotherapy (VES-13) increased with increasing depression (OR=1.42; 95% CI: 1.18, 1.71) and decreased with increased functional independence assessed on the Bartel Index (OR=0.82; CI: 0.74, 0.92) and Lawton instrumental activities of daily living (OR=0.44; CI: 0.30, 0.65); RSquare=.65. Similarly, the odds of a patient being vulnerable to chemotherapy, when assessed by physicians, increased with increasing age (OR=1.15; CI: 1.07, 1.23) and depression (OR=1.23; CI: 1.06, 1.43), and decreased with increasing functional independence (OR=0.91; CI: 0.85, 0.98); RSquare=.32.

Conclusions: Our data indicate moderate agreement between VES-13 and clinician assessments of patients’ fitness for chemotherapy. Current ‘one-step’ screening processes to determine fitness have limits. Nonetheless, screening tools do have the potential for modification and enhanced predictive properties in cancer care by adding relevant items, thus enabling fit patients to be immediately referred for chemotherapy.

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ID Code: 60763
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Vulnerable Elders Survey 13, Geriatric cancer
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Nursing not elsewhere classified (111099)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Please consult the authors.
Deposited On: 13 Jun 2013 04:45
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2017 14:44

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