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Joleen M. Hubbard and Axel Grothey

Although the overall incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) in adolescents and young adults (AYAs) is low, it has seen an increase over the past 2 to 3 decades, which contrasts with the trend of decreased incidence in the older population. This phenomenon is conceivably caused by a lack of routine CRC screening in the young population and lifestyle issues, including the obesity epidemic and dietary factors. Hereditary genetic syndromes (eg, familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer syndrome) and known predisposing medical conditions (eg, inflammatory bowel disease) account for only a minority of CRC cases in AYA. Younger patients with CRC commonly present with more advanced disease at diagnosis and exhibit specific molecular and clinical characteristics associated with a distinct biologic phenotype of CRC compared with older individuals. Matched for stage, however, the prognosis of patients with young-onset CRC is similar to or better than that for older patients. A surprising paucity of data exists on outcomes associated with modern systemic cytotoxic and biologic therapy specifically in young patients with CRC. The toxicity pattern of these treatments, however, differs between young and older patients, partly because of the lower rate of pertinent comorbidities in younger adults. Issues regarding surgical management in the setting of hereditary syndromes and fertility preservation while on therapy are of particular importance to the younger patient population. Future studies should seek to increase understanding of the distinct tumor biology of AYA patients with CRC and the consequences of treatment interventions to optimize outcomes for this population.

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Deirdre R. Pachman, Kathryn Ruddy, Lindsey R. Sangaralingham, Axel Grothey, Nilay D. Shah, Andreas S. Beutler, Joleen M. Hubbard and Charles L. Loprinzi

Substantial research efforts have focused on methods of treating and preventing oxaliplatin-associated neuropathy, the dose-limiting toxicity associated with this drug. Administration of intravenous calcium and magnesium (CaMg) before and after oxaliplatin has been the most studied approach to preventing oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy. Although early reports demonstrated potential benefit, subsequent larger trials failed to confirm the efficacy of CaMg in preventing this adverse effect. This article explores how accumulating evidence for and against the use of CaMg for preventing oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy has impacted clinical practice.

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Noam VanderWalde, Reshma Jagsi, Efrat Dotan, Joel Baumgartner, Ilene S. Browner, Peggy Burhenn, Harvey Jay Cohen, Barish H. Edil, Beatrice Edwards, Martine Extermann, Apar Kishor P. Ganti, Cary Gross, Joleen Hubbard, Nancy L. Keating, Beatriz Korc-Grodzicki, June M. McKoy, Bruno C. Medeiros, Ewa Mrozek, Tracey O'Connor, Hope S. Rugo, Randall W. Rupper, Dale Shepard, Rebecca A. Silliman, Derek L. Stirewalt, William P. Tew, Louise C. Walter, Tanya Wildes, Mary Anne Bergman, Hema Sundar and Arti Hurria

Cancer is the leading cause of death in older adults aged 60 to 79 years. Older patients with good performance status are able to tolerate commonly used treatment modalities as well as younger patients, particularly when adequate supportive care is provided. For older patients who are able to tolerate curative treatment, options include surgery, radiation therapy (RT), chemotherapy, and targeted therapies. RT can be highly effective and well tolerated in carefully selected patients, and advanced age alone should not preclude the use of RT in older patients with cancer. Judicious application of advanced RT techniques that facilitate normal tissue sparing and reduce RT doses to organs at risk are important for all patients, and may help to assuage concerns about the risks of RT in older adults. These NCCN Guidelines Insights focus on the recent updates to the 2016 NCCN Guidelines for Older Adult Oncology specific to the use of RT in the management of older adults with cancer.