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10.11.2020 | Research Report

Efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in elderly patients aged ≥ 75 years

Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Fausto Petrelli, Alessandro Inno, Antonio Ghidini, Stefania Gori, Melissa Bersanelli
Wichtige Hinweise

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Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) represent a cornerstone for the treatment of many advanced tumors. When 65 is considered as a cut-off age, ICIs are equally effective in younger and older patients. However, the efficacy of ICIs among patients aged ≥ 75 remains uncertain, since those patients were generally under-represented in clinical trials. We performed a pooled analysis of major randomized trials including data of outcome in very older population.

Material and methods

We searched PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library for randomized controlled trials published from the inception of each database to November 22th, 2019. We only included (1) randomized studies comparing ICIs alone or in combinations with no ICIs, (2) studies reporting data of patients older than 75 years, (3) studies for solid tumors, and (4) studies with HR and 95% confidence interval (CI) available for OS based on 75 years as cut-off age. All data were expressed as the combination of HR and 95% CI, and P < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.


A total of n = 8 publications for a total of n = 12 randomized studies were aggregated in the quantitative analysis. Overall, the pooled analysis showed a borderline significant OS benefit for ICIs compared to no ICIs arms (HR = 0.84, 95% CI 0.7–1; P = 0.05) in particular in first-line trials with HR = 0.77 (95%CI 0.61–0.96; P = 0.02).


We conclude that ICIs may be offered in patients older than 75 years, providing a complete geriatric and clinical evaluation is performed in all subjects before starting therapy.

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