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Chemotherapy in the elderly

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journal contribution
posted on 2008-03-01, 00:00 authored by Mustafa Khasraw, G Marx
The number of elderly patients with malignancy is growing and is likely to have a major impact on resources, quality of care, health economics and treatment options. Decisions regarding treatment options with chemotherapy are limited by the scarcity of data specifically addressing the issues regarding chemotherapy in the elderly. The problem is further confounded by issues such as co morbidity, poly-pharmacy, cognitive impairments, emotional problems, functional limitations, sensory impairment and a lack of social support. Ageing is associated with specific physiologic changes in functional status, organ function and drug pharmacokinetics. Optimising cancer care and chemotherapy delivery in the elderly requires a better understanding of the specific pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic issues and administration of chemotherapy in this age group. Elderly participation in clinical trials and specific research is essential to guide treatment decisions and further research is required to provide evidence-based models to guide treatment decisions. In an Australian setting, the development of a geriatric oncology specific group as a means of facilitating collaboration with geriatricians, development of specific elderly research programs and clinical trials, education and development of treatment guidelines would further improve outcomes of our elderly patients undergoing cancer treatment.

History

Journal

Cancer forum

Volume

32

Issue

1

Publisher

Cancer Council Australia

Location

Sydney, N. S. W.

ISSN

0311-306X

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2008, Cancer Council Australia

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