J Cancer 2021; 12(21):6445-6453. doi:10.7150/jca.63813

Research Paper

Metastasis patterns and prognosis in breast cancer patients aged ≥ 80 years: a SEER database analysis

Youming Han1,2, Zhilin Sui1, Yongsheng Jia3, Hailong Wang1, Yan Dong4, Hongdian Zhang1, Zhigang Li2, Zhentao Yu1,5✉

1. Department of Esophageal Cancer, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, Tianjin's Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Tianjin 300060, China.
2. Department of Respiratory medicine, Binhai Hospital of Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin, 300456, China.
3. Department of Breast Oncology, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin, 300060, China.
4. Tianjin Teda Hospital, Tianjin, 300456, China.
5. Department of Thoracic Surgery, National Cancer Center, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Cancer Hospital & Shenzhen Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and PeKing Union Medical College, Shenzhen, 518116, China.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). See http://ivyspring.com/terms for full terms and conditions.
Han Y, Sui Z, Jia Y, Wang H, Dong Y, Zhang H, Li Z, Yu Z. Metastasis patterns and prognosis in breast cancer patients aged ≥ 80 years: a SEER database analysis. J Cancer 2021; 12(21):6445-6453. doi:10.7150/jca.63813. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v12p6445.htm

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Background: This study aimed to investigate the metastasis patterns and prognosis of breast cancer (BC) in patients aged ≥ 80 years with distant metastases, as the current literature lacks studies in this population.

Methods: A retrospective, population-based study using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database was conducted to evaluate 36,203 patients with BC from 2010 to 2016. Patients were classified into three groups, the older group (aged ≥ 80 years), middle-aged group (aged 60-79 years), and younger group (aged < 60 years). The role of age at the time of BC diagnosis in metastasis patterns was investigated, and the survival of different age groups of patients with BC was assessed.

Results: Overall, 4,359 (12%) patients were diagnosed with BC at age ≥ 80 years, 19,688 (54%) at 60-79 years, and 12,156 (34%) at < 60 years. Compared with the other two groups, those in the older group had a lower rate of treatment acceptance. Statistical analysis revealed that older patients were more likely to have lung invasion only (odds ratio [OR]: 1.274, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.163-2.674) and less likely to have bone invasion only (OR: 0.704, 95% CI: 0.583-0.851), brain invasion only (OR: 0.329, 95% CI: 0.153-0.706), or multiple metastatic sites (OR: 0.361, 95% CI: 0.284-0.458) compared to the other two groups. Age at diagnosis was an independent prognostic factor for survival. The older group had the worst overall survival (OS, P<0.001) and BC-specific survival (CSS, P<0.001). Furthermore, patients aged ≥ 80 years with only liver metastasis had the worst CSS and OS.

Conclusion: Patients aged ≥ 80 years were less likely to be receptive to cancer-related therapy and had the highest cancer mortality rate among all patients. Our findings will hopefully help clinicians develop more appropriate modalities of cancer treatment in elderly BC patients.

Keywords: breast cancer, elderly patients, age-related, metastasis, prognosis