Purpose: Predicting the feasibility of platinum-based chemotherapy remains an important issue in elderly (over 70 years) patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The aim of this study was to identify the risk factors for the early serious adverse events (SAEs) (during cycles 1–2) in elderly receiving platinum-based chemotherapy, and to explore the clinical characteristics of patients who require early treatment termination without progressive disease (PD). Methods: One hundred and ninety-eight consecutive elderly NSCLC patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy were retrospectively reviewed. Results: The median age was 73 years (range 70–83). 161 (81 %) were males, and 190 (95 %) were PS 0–1. Fifty-one (29 %) and 39 (19 %) patients developed early non-hematological SAEs and hematological SAEs, respectively. Multivariate analysis identified low serum albumin (<3.0 g/dl) as an independent risk factor for non-hematological SAEs, while low creatinine clearance (<45 ml/min) for hematological SAEs. In all, 24 (12 %) patients needed early treatment termination without PD. The major reason for this event was the development of non-hematological SAEs (4.5 %), followed by grade 2 non-hematological adverse events (AEs) (3 %). In multivariate analysis, age over 75 years and low serum albumin were associated with this event. The median overall survival (OS) in patients with this event was only 6.0 months, while the development of early SAE was not associated with poor OS. Conclusion: Baseline serum albumin might be useful for predicting the feasibility of platinum-based chemotherapy, and the risk estimation of early treatment termination without PD might be beneficial for the treatment selection in elderly NSCLC patients.
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