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Very Elderly Can Benefit From Brain Tumor Surgery

While there is short-term excess mortality, cumulative survival is similar to the general population

FRIDAY, July 2, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Surgical treatment of intracranial meningioma (IM) should be considered even in patients over the age of 80 years, according to a study published online June 1 in Scientific Reports.

Ilari Rautalin, from the University of Helsinki in Finland, and colleagues assessed survival in surgically treated very old IM patients. Analysis included 83 consecutive very old IM patients (median age 83 years; 69 percent women) undergoing surgery between 2010 and 2018.

The researchers found that during the first postoperative year, operated IM patients had 2.5 times higher mortality versus the age- and sex-matched general population. However, no annual survival difference persisted thereafter and no excess mortality was detected after the second postoperative year. Compared to preoperative living status, 78 percent of those who previously lived at home and 42 percent of those who were previously not able to live at home lived at home within three months of surgery. There was an association observed between preoperative loss of capability to live at home and less frequent return to home (odds ratio, 0.21).

“Our findings demonstrate that surgically removing a tumor can improve life quality and even save lives in even very old brain tumor patients, especially when taking into consideration the poor prognosis, without surgical treatment, for over 80-year-old brain tumor patients who have lost their functional capacity,” Rautalin said in a statement.

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