Cancer Treatment Patterns and Factors Affecting Receipt of Treatment in Older Adults: Results from the ASPREE Cancer Treatment Substudy (ACTS)

Jaidyn Muhandiramge, Erica T. Warner, John R. Zalcberg, Andrew Haydon, Galina Polekhina, Gijsberta J. van Londen, Peter Gibbs, Wendy B. Bernstein, Jeanne Tie, Jeremy L. Millar, Victoria J. Mar, John J. McNeil, Robyn L. Woods, Suzanne G. Orchard, on behalf of the ASPREE Investigator Group

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Introduction: Cancer treatment planning in older adults is complex and requires careful balancing of survival, quality of life benefits, and risk of treatment-related morbidity and toxicity. As a result, treatment selection in this cohort tends to differ from that for younger patients. However, there are very few studies describing cancer treatment patterns in older cohorts. Methods: We used data from the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) trial and the ASPREE Cancer Treatment Substudy (ACTS) to describe cancer treatment patterns in older adults. We used a multivariate logistic regression model to identify factors affecting receipt of treatment. Results: Of 1893 eligible Australian and United States (US) participants with incident cancer, 1569 (81%) received some form of cancer treatment. Non-metastatic breast cancers most frequently received treatment (98%), while haematological malignancy received the lowest rates of treatment (60%). Factors associated with not receiving treatment were older age (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.91–0.96), residence in the US (OR 0.34, 95% CI 0.22–0.54), smoking (OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.40–0.81), and diabetes (OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.39–0.80). After adjustment for treatment patterns in sex-specific cancers, sex did not impact receipt of treatment. Conclusions: This study is one of the first describing cancer treatment patterns and factors affecting receipt of treatment across common cancer types in older adults. We found that most older adults with cancer received some form of cancer treatment, typically surgery or systemic therapy, although this varied by factors such as cancer type, age, sex, and country of residence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1017
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • ageing
  • cancer treatment patterns
  • chemotherapy
  • older adults
  • radiation therapy

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