Treatment of Urothelial Cancer in Elderly Patients: Focus on Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
Urothelial carcinoma, or bladder cancer, is a malignancy that most commonly affects older patients. The median age at diagnosis is 73 years, and care of these patients requires consideration not just of the disease-related factors such as stage and histology, but also of patient-related factors. Many of these patients have concurrent medical morbidities and additional changes related to the aging process. Older patients with cancer are a unique population requiring additional considerations and assessment in treatment decision-making. It is important to look beyond chronologic age. The traditional treatment for advanced disease has relied on platinum-based chemotherapy. These multi-agent regimens require consideration of baseline organ function as well as competing conditions that may heighten toxicity. The advent of a new class of cancer therapeutics, the immune checkpoint inhibitors, has changed the care of patients with advanced disease considerably. These immunotherapeutics have been approved for treating patients with disease progression on chemotherapy, or those who are ineligible (or unfit) to receive cisplatin-based therapy. This expansion of the population of patients eligible for treatment has great applicability to the unique considerations in an older patient population. In general, these new immunotherapies are well tolerated and effective in this group of patients.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
No external funding was used in the preparation of this manuscript.
Conflict of interest
Gray Jodon, Stacy Fischer, and Elizabeth Kessler declare that they have no conflicts of interest that might be relevant to the contents of this manuscript.
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