The number of older adults with cancer is rising, and the United States population is aging. In 2011, the “baby boom” generation began turning 65, and the U.S. population aged 65 and older is expected to double by 2030. Because cancer is a disease associated with aging, this trend is anticipated to increase the incidence of cancer among older adults by 67%.1 Despite this, enrollment in cancer clinical trials favors a younger population,2-4 and few trials specifically focus on the unique issues that affect older patients. Consequently, little evidence-based data are available on the care of the growing number of older adults with cancer. To bridge this gap, a U13 conference grant, “Geriatric Oncology Research to Improve Clinical Care,” brought together multidisciplinary investigators from geriatrics and oncology to identify the areas of highest research priorities in cancer and aging. The first U13 Conference, “Biological, Clinical, and Psychosocial Correlates at the Interface of Aging and Cancer Research,” established a collaboration among the Cancer and Aging Research Group (CARG), the National Institute of Aging, and the National Cancer Institute. The first conference was designed to identify research goals and factors that would help shape geriatric oncology research. As part of this conference, participants with expertise in cancer and aging were asked to list the 5 most important areas of research in oncology/hematology and geriatrics. Here, we review their responses and the rationale for these research directions.
The ideas and viewpoints expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily represent any policy, position, or program of NCCN.
SmithBDSmithGLHurriaA. Future of cancer incidence in the United States: burdens upon an aging, changing nation. J Clin Oncol2009;27:2758–2765.
LewisJHKilgoreMLGoldmanDP. Participation of patients 65 years of age or older in cancer clinical trials. J Clin Oncol2003;21:1383–1389.
MurthyVHKrumholzHMGrossCP. Participation in cancer clinical trials: race-, sex-, and age-based disparities. JAMA2004;291:2720–2726.
TalaricoLChenGPazdurR. Enrollment of elderly patients in clinical trials for cancer drug registration: a 7-year experience by the US Food and Drug Administration. J Clin Oncol2004;22:4626–4631.
SehlMSawhneyRNaeimA. Physiologic aspects of aging: impact on cancer management and decision making, part II. Cancer J2005;11:461–473.
HurriaATogawaKMohileSG. Predicting chemotherapy toxicity in older adults with cancer: a prospective multicenter study. J Clin Oncol2011;29:3457–3465.
HurriaACohenHJExtermannM. Geriatric oncology research in the cooperative groups: a report of a SIOG Special Meeting. J Geriatr Oncol2010;1:40–44.
ExtermannMBolerIReichRR. Predicting the risk of chemotherapy toxicity in older patients: the Chemotherapy Risk Assessment Scale for High-Age Patients (CRASH) score. Cancer2011; in press.
HurriaACirrincioneCTMussHB. Implementing a geriatric assessment in cooperative group clinical cancer trials: CALGB 360401. J Clin Oncol2011;29:1290–1296.
DiabSGElledgeRMClarkGM. Tumor characteristics and clinical outcome of elderly women with breast cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst2000;92:550–556.