Functional not chronologic age: Frailty index predicts outcomes in advanced ovarian cancer

Amanika Kumar, Carrie L. Langstraat, Stephanie R. DeJong, Michaela E. McGree, Jamie N. Bakkum-Gamez, Amy L. Weaver, Nathan K. LeBrasseur, William A. Cliby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Objectives To assess the impact of frailty as measured by a frailty deficit index (FI) on outcomes in advanced epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) after primary debulking surgery (PDS). Methods Women with Stage IIIC/IV EOC who underwent PDS between 1/1/2003–12/31/2011 were included. Medical records were reviewed for patient characteristics and outcomes. The FI includes 30 items scored at 0, 0.5 or 1 and is calculated by summing across all the item scores and dividing by the total. Frailty was defined as a FI ≥ 0.15. Associations were assessed using logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards regression. Results Of the 535 studied, 78% had stage IIIC disease and mean (SD) age was 64.3 (11.3) years. Median FI was 0.08, and 131 patients (24.5%) were considered frail with FI ≥ 0.15. Compared to non-frail patients, frail patients were more likely to have an Accordion grade 3 + complication (28.2 vs. 18.8%; odds ratio (OR): 1.70, 95% CI: 1.08–2.68) and more likely to die within 90 days of surgery (16.0 vs. 5.2%; OR: 3.48, 95% CI: 1.83–6.61). After adjusting for known risk factors, these associations remained significant, adjusted OR (aOR): 1.62, 95% CI: 1.00–2.62; aOR: 2.60, 95% CI 1.32–5.10; and aOR: 0.57, 95% CI 0.34–0.97, respectively. Overall survival (OS) for the entire cohort was 39.6 months (m). OS was shorter in the frail versus non-frail (median 26.5 vs 44.9 m, p < 0.001). Frailty was independently associated with death (adjusted hazard ratio: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.21–1.92) after adjusting for known risk factors. Conclusions Frailty is a common finding in patients with EOC and is independently associated with worse surgical outcomes and poorer OS. Routine assessments of frailty can be incorporated into patient counseling and decision-making for the EOC patient beyond simple reliance on single factors such as age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-109
Number of pages6
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Elderly
  • Frailty
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Sarcopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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