Department of General Surgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, 246 Xuefu Road, Harbin, 150086, China
BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
The information about clinical presentation and outcome of elderly hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients is limited. We performed this study to assess the impact of age on potential differences in clinical characteristics, treatment patterns and outcome in HCC patients.
Clinical data of 164 "elderly" (≥70 years old) and 531 "younger" (<70 years old) HCC patients treated at a Chinese tertiary university-affiliated medical center between April 2004 and April 2012 were collected and compared using various parameters.
Compared with younger patients, the elderly patients had a higher proportion of females (32.9 % vs. 18.1 %, p < 0.001), less hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (40.9 % vs. 76.6 %, p < 0.001), more hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection (23.8 % vs. 5.6 %, p < 0.001), less liver cirrhosis (68.3 % vs. 76.8 %, p = 0.03) and massive tumors (12.8 % vs. 21.8 %, p = 0.01). There was no significant difference between the two groups in Child-Pugh class and tumor stages. The elderly patients received less surgical resection (14.6 % vs. 29.6 %, p < 0.001) and more supportive care (48.8 % vs. 37.9 %, p = 0.01) than younger patients. The overall survival was not significantly different between the two groups (26.2 mo. vs. 28.3 mo., p = 0.75).
Characteristics that distinguish elderly from younger HCC patients included more female, less HBV infection, more HCV infection, less liver cirrhosis and massive tumors. Significant differences were observed in therapeutic strategies utilized with the two groups, but the overall survival was not significantly different.