An update on treatment for post-menopausal metastatic breast cancer in elderly patients
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INTRODUCTION: Elderly patients make up a significant proportion of patients with metastatic breast cancer. With several options available in the metastatic setting for hormone positive breast cancer, these patients require an individualized approach to decision-making that considers multiple factors beyond performance status and chronologic age. AREAS COVERED: The authors review the literature on endocrine monotherapy and combinations for hormone positive metastatic breast cancer, with specific commentary on the efficacy and toxicity for elderly patients. The authors describe the role of comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) and highlight the considerations for the use of bone modifying agents, and HER2-targeted therapy for hormone positive/HER2+ patients. EXPERT OPINION: Evidence for elderly patients is largely based on subgroup analyses, which should be interpreted with caution. Nonetheless, elderly patients with metastatic hormone receptor positive breast cancer appear to derive similar benefit from treatments as younger patients. Similarly, for most drugs, these patients have no significant worsening of toxicity compared to younger patients. In addition to tumor biology, patient values and information from the CGA should be used to guide treatment decisions.
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