Author | Timothy L. Gillison, MD


Cancer Chemotherapy in the Elderly Patient

January 15, 2010

The management of older patients with cancer is historically challenging because of a lack of prospective data regarding the appropriate management of this population. In this review, we address some of the issues and challenges surrounding the treatment of older cancer patients, including the withholding of medically appropriate treatment based on chronologic age, the historical omission of elderly from clinical trials, and the impact of geriatric assessment, and age-related changes in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Finally, we conclude by discussing the existing evidence related to cancer treatment in the elderly, focusing primarily on the malignancies most commonly seen in older patients, and making general treatment recommendations where applicable.