BACKGROUND: A prognostic assessment is crucial for making cancer treatment decisions in older patients. We assessed the prognostic performance (relative to one-year mortality) of eight comorbidity indices in a cohort of older patients with cancer.
METHODS: We studied patients with cancer aged ≥70 included in the Elderly Cancer Patient (ELCAPA) cohort between 2007 and 2010. We assessed seven nonspecific indices (Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), three modified versions of the CCI, the Elixhauser Comorbidity Index, the Gagne index, and the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale for Geriatrics (CIRS-G)) and the National Cancer Institute Comorbidity Index.
RESULTS: Overall, 510 patients were included. Among patients with nonmetastatic cancer, all the comorbidity indices were independently associated with 1-year mortality (adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) of 1.44 to 2.51 for one standard deviation increment; < 0.05 for all) and had very good discriminant ability (Harrell's C > 0.8 for the eight indices), but were poorly calibrated. Among patients with metastatic cancer, only the CIRS-G was independently associated with 1-year mortality (aHR (95% confidence interval): 1.26 [1.06-1.50]). Discriminant ability was moderate (0.61 to 0.70) for the subsets of patients with metastatic cancer and colorectal cancer.
CONCLUSION: Comorbidity indices had strong prognostic value and discriminative ability for one-year mortality in older patients with nonmetastatic cancer, although calibration was poor. In older patients with metastatic cancer, only the CIRS-G was predictive of one-year mortality.