Geriatrics for the Oncologist

Geriatric Oncology

Educating Nurse Practitioners on the Care of Older Patients With Cancer in a Comprehensive Cancer Center

Sincere McMillan, MS, ANP-BC, RN  / September 25, 2018

To expose future practitioners to the special challenges of treating cancer in older patients, the Geriatrics Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) has developed a clinical education model for nurse practitioner students. Why Geriatric Oncology? GIVEN THE aging population, my ...

Geriatric Oncology

Challenges of Managing Older Patients With Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

Colette N. Owens, MD  / September 10, 2018

As the population continues to age, the interplay between aging and cancer increasingly shows cancer to be a disease of older people. By the year 2030, there will be an increased incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in older individuals.1 The median age of patients diagnosed with diffuse lar...

Geriatric Oncology
Global Cancer Care

Challenges in Geriatric Oncology in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Focus on Latin America

Enrique Soto Pérez-de-Celis, MD, and Theodora Karnakis, MD  / August 10, 2017

Virtually every region and country in the world are experiencing population aging. Although developed regions still have the largest proportion of older persons, the absolute number of older adults is higher in developing regions of the world. Globally, more than 60% of all perso...

Geriatric Oncology

Preparing for Future Challenges in Geriatric Surgical Oncology

Ruth Mary Parks, BMBS, MRCS, MSc, and Kwok-Leung Cheung, MD, FRCS, FACS  / July 10, 2017

In the past decade, advances in surgical oncology have been echoed in the field of geriatric oncology. The current literature regarding older people with cancer includes mainly retrospective cohort studies, focusing on alternatives to radical surgery in comorbid patients. More recently, wo...

Geriatric Oncology
Global Cancer Care

Geriatric Oncology: A Multidisciplinary Approach in a Global Environment

Gouri Shankar Bhattacharyya, MD, and Stuart M. Lichtman, MD  / June 10, 2017

Geriatrics for the Oncologist is guest edited by Stuart M. Lichtman, MD, and developed in collaboration with the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG). Dr. Lichtman is an Attending Physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Commack, New York, and Professor of Medicine at ...

Breast Cancer
Geriatric Oncology

Accrual of Older Patients to Breast Cancer Trials: A Critical Need

Rachel A. Freedman, MD, MPH, and Arti Hurria, MD  / May 25, 2017

As the U.S. population ages,1 the number of older women with breast cancer will increase,2 as well as the number of patients with frailty and other comorbid medical conditions. These patients are at increased risk for toxicity and functional decline during their breast cancer tre...

Geriatric Oncology

Using Geriatric Assessment Strategies to Inform Patient-Centered End-of-Life Care

Amy MacKenzie, MD  / April 25, 2017

End-of-life care in any patient with cancer is challenging for the patient, family, and physician. Issues faced at the end of life include pain, depression, loss of dignity, and hopelessness. In the geriatric patient, additional complexities are present in the form of comorbid conditi...

Geriatric Oncology

Future Perspectives in Geriatric Oncology: How the Young Can Care for the Old

Nienke A. de Glas, MD, PhD, on behalf of the Young SIOG Committee  / March 25, 2017

In the upcoming decades, the number of older adults with cancer will drastically increase due to aging of Western societies.1 The risk of cancer strongly increases with age. Consequently, all future oncologists will be exposed to the challenges of caring for this heterogeneous population. Older...

SIOG 2017 Advanced Course in Treviso, Italy

The ASCO Post  / March 25, 2017

The International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) has a workshop to educate young investigators in geriatric oncology research. The SIOG Advanced Course, which is held in Treviso, Italy (June 28–July 1, 2017), is our unique continuing medical education–accredited training program led by interna...

Geriatric Oncology
Colorectal Cancer

Tailoring Treatment for Older Adults With Colorectal Cancer

Joleen Hubbard, MD  / February 25, 2017

Nearly 60% of colorectal cancer cases are diagnosed in patients ≥ 65 years, with a median age at diagnosis of 68 years,1 but this population makes up only 34% of clinical trial participants.2 In addition, the older adults enrolled on clinical trials are traditionally the most-fit older adults. ...

Geriatric Oncology

Falls in Older Patients With Cancer: Recognizing and Reducing the Risk

Aminah Jatoi, MD  / January 25, 2017

In older patients, a current or previous cancer diagnosis confers a 15% to 20% greater risk of suffering a fall.1 Defined as an “unexpected event in which the participant comes to rest on the ground, floor, or lower level,” a fall occurs in 30% to 50% of cancer patients 65 years of age or older...

Geriatric Oncology

Co-occurrence of Cancer and Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults

Allison M. Magnuson, DO  / December 25, 2016

The prevalence of both cancer and cognitive impairment increases with age.1-3 Based upon Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare studies, it is estimated that 3% to 7% of patients with cancer aged ≥ 65 also suffer from dementia, although the true prevalence of dementia in th...

Geriatric Oncology
Symptom Management

Cardio-oncology in the Geriatric Patient

Anne H. Blaes, MD, MS  / November 10, 2016

As cancer therapies improve and the population as a whole increases, there are rising numbers of elderly patients with cancer. More than half of patients newly diagnosed with cancer are aged 65 years or older.1 In January 2012, it was estimated that more than 8 million cancer survivors were ove...

Geriatric Oncology

ASCO 2016: Geriatric Oncology Highlights

William P. Tew, MD  / September 10, 2016

Clinical trials focused on older adults with cancer were featured prominently at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting. There was a plenary session in glioblastoma, a clinical symposium on immunotherapy, and multiple educational lectures highlighting the growing literature and unique challenge...

Geriatric Oncology

Spotlight on ASCO’s Geriatric Oncology Webpage

Ronald J. Maggiore, MD  / August 25, 2016

With the increasing population of older adults with cancer, there has been a commensurate need for more readily available and widely accessible educational and clinical resources in geriatric oncology. As part of the Cancer and Aging Research Group and ASCO’s Geriatric Oncology Specia...

Issues in Oncology
Geriatric Oncology

Safety Concerns Weigh Heavily in Elderly Patients With Cancer

Ronald Piana  / August 10, 2016

Active pharmacovigilance in detecting and assessing the safety signals related to drugs and devices, and disseminating those findings to relevant stakeholders, is an important component in delivering safe, high-quality care in the cancer setting. To reach a better understanding of thi...

Geriatric Oncology
Supportive Care

Assessment of Fitness, Function, and Quality of Life Essential in Treatment of Older Patients With CLL

Vicki A. Morrison, MD  / July 10, 2016

Significant progress has been made in the past 2 decades in the care of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Recently, the therapeutic armamentarium has expanded for such patients with the introduction of new targeted agents. CLL is predominantly a disease of the elderly...

Geriatric Oncology
Issues in Oncology

Geriatric Patients With Cancer and the Problem of Polypharmacy

Ronald Piana  / June 25, 2016

Older patients with cancer generally have multiple comorbidities, with each often requiring separate medications. Studies have shown that polypharmacy and inappropriate drug use are prevalent among older cancer patients, leading to an enormous amount of preventable adverse events, many requirin...

Geriatric Oncology
Global Cancer Care

Geriatric Oncology in Asia: The Dawn of a New Era in Cancer Care

Ravindran Kanesvaran, MD  / June 25, 2016

Asia is currently experiencing an unprecedented rate of growth in its aging population. This “silver tsunami” has translated into a burgeoning number of older patients with cancer, as cancer is a disease of aging. However, unlike their Western counterparts, elderly patients with cancer in Asia are...

Supportive Care
Geriatric Oncology

The Role of Occupational and Physical Therapy in Geriatric Oncology

Jeannine Nonaillada, PhD, OTR/L, BCG  / May 25, 2016

With individuals aged 65 and older accounting for more than 50% of the U.S. population diagnosed with cancer,1 the demand for occupational and physical therapists to treat this population will increase in the years to come. Thus, it is essential for primary care providers to know that the int...

Geriatric Oncology

Supportive Care in the Older Adult With Cancer: What You Need to Know

Christopher Steer, MBBS, FRACP  / April 25, 2016

The median age of patients at the first diagnosis of cancer in the United States is 65 years, and the majority of patients with cancer are older adults.1 As we have learned from previous articles in this series, older patients with cancer require more complex care. Older adults are more likely to ...

Geriatric Oncology

Geriatric Assessment of Transplant-Ineligible Older Adults With Multiple Myeloma: A Novel Approach in the Era of Novel Agents

Tanya M. Wildes, MD, MSCI  / March 25, 2016

Myeloma is a disease of aging, with a median age at diagnosis in the United States of 69 years.1 As the population ages, forecasts estimate that, within 20 years, 3 of every 4 people diagnosed with multiple myeloma in the United States will be between the ages of 64 and 84 years.2 In anticipation ...

Issues in Oncology
Lung Cancer
Geriatric Oncology

Management of Advanced Lung Cancer in the Elderly: A Reason to Rejoice or a Cause for Concern?

Ajeet Gajra, MD, FACP  / February 25, 2016

There is ample evidence to suggest that older adults with a good performance status (0 or 1) with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) should be treated with combination chemotherapy akin to younger patients.1,2 However, older adults comprise a heterogeneous group that has been underrep...

Issues in Oncology
Supportive Care
Geriatric Oncology

Deconditioning in Older Adults With Cancer: A Cascade to Dependency

Lorraine K. McEvoy, DNP, MSN, RN, OCN  / January 25, 2016

It is estimated that nearly half of adults over age 80 living in the community are frail despite apparent functional well-being.1 Frailty is recognized as a clinical syndrome in which three or more of the following criteria are present: unintentional weight loss, self-reported exhaustion, weakness, ...

Supportive Care

SIOG Annual Conference Explores Global Perspectives on Geriatric Oncology and Supportive Care

Stuart M. Lichtman, MD  / December 25, 2015  / 2015 SIOG Annual Conference

The 15th Annual Conference of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) took place in Prague, Czech Republic, over 3 days (November 12–14, 2015). At the heart of the meeting were presentations on supportive care, comprehensive geriatric assessment and treatment—so that we fully understa...

Issues in Oncology
Geriatric Oncology

Clinical Trial Design in Older Patients

Stuart M. Lichtman, MD  / December 10, 2015

Geriatrics for the Oncologist is guest edited by Stuart Lichtman, MD, and developed in collaboration with the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG). Visit for more on geriatric oncology. Increasing age is directly associated with an increasing risk of cancer, and persons ove...

Geriatric Oncology

Geriatric Oncology in Europe: A Commitment to Improving Cancer Care for Older Patients

Etienne Brain, MD, PhD  / November 10, 2015

In Europe, the field of geriatric oncology has a long history of development, and its organization and implementation continue to improve every day. This would not have happened without the strong commitment of national authorities to health policies, a critical success factor. Four Missions In Fr...

Geriatric Oncology

ASCO 2015: Geriatric Oncology Highlights

Amy MacKenzie, MD, and Andrew Chapman, DO, FACP  / September 25, 2015  / 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting

The theme of the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting, Illumination and Innovation, is especially appropriate as we consider the field of geriatric oncology. For too long, the elderly cancer patient has remained in the dark regarding treatment planning, clinical trial enrollment, and shared decision-making. Ou...

Geriatric Oncology

Geriatric Oncology: A Geriatrician’s Perspective

Beatriz Korc-Grodzicki, MD, PhD  / August 25, 2015

“The management of older individuals, including older cancer patients, involves a wisdom developed over a lifetime, thanks to time-consuming listening and painstaking collection and interpretation of clinical details.” —Lodovico Balducci, MD It is not simple to be a geriatrician in a world of onco...

Gynecologic Cancers
Geriatric Oncology

Gynecologic Cancer in the Older Patient: The Activities of the Elderly Working Group of NRG Oncology

Amina Ahmed, MD  / July 25, 2015

Geriatrics for the Oncologist is guest edited by Stuart Lichtman, MD, and developed in collaboration with the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG). Visit for more on geriatric oncology.   The elderly population in the United States is growing, and by the year 2050, persons o...

Issues in Oncology
Geriatric Oncology

Guidelines for the Treatment of Older Cancer Patients: Task Forces of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology

Anita O’Donovan, MD  / May 25, 2015

Geriatrics for the Oncologist is guest edited by Stuart Lichtman, MD, and developed in collaboration with the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG). Visit for more on geriatric oncology. The Task Forces of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) are active in va...

Geriatric Oncology

Our Aging Population: Challenges in Caring for Older Patients With Cancer

Ronald Piana  / March 25, 2015

Managing older-aged cancer patients represents one of the major challenges to our health-care system. Caring for older cancer patients, with their frequent multiple morbidities and a variable health status, requires special integration of an oncologic and geriatric approach. Moreover, our aging popu...

Geriatric Oncology

International Society of Geriatric Oncology: At the Forefront of Physician Education and Research Dissemination in Geriatric Oncology

Stuart M. Lichtman, MD  / February 25, 2015

The ASCO Post announces a new department on geriatric oncology to be published on an occasional basis. Geriatrics for the Oncologist is guest edited by Stuart Lichtman, MD, and developed in collaboration with the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG). Visit for more on geriatri...

Geriatric Oncology

Evaluating and Screening Geriatric Patients for Treatment

Martine Extermann, MD, PhD  / January 15, 2014

One of the key questions in geriatric oncology is: How can we use all of the work geriatricians have done over the years in general geriatrics and apply that to the field of oncology? One-quarter to one-third of us are going to develop cancer throughout our lifetime, and half of the time it is going...

Geriatric Oncology

Addressing the Challenges of an Aging Population

Harvey J. Cohen, MD  / January 15, 2014

We have an aging population, which is a good thing since people are living longer. [But] cancer is a disease that tends to occur most frequently in older people, so the combination of those two events will lead to many more older people with cancer, a larger cancer population in general, and a large...

Geriatric Oncology
Issues in Oncology

Improving the Care and Study of Older Patients with Cancer 

Stuart M. Lichtman, MD  / June 10, 2013

Predicting toxicity in older patients receiving chemotherapy is an important clinical problem. It has been shown that standard oncology measures such as performance status are not adequate to predict outcomes in the elderly. Clinical measures that are important in geriatric oncology are not routinel...

Geriatric Oncology

Geriatric Oncologists: A Small but Passionate Group

Ronald Piana  / May 15, 2012

Although age is the major risk factor for developing cancer, geriatric oncology is still a relatively new discipline within the oncology community. To gain insight into this evolving component of cancer care, The ASCO Post recently spoke with a leader in the field, Stuart M. Lichtman, MD, of the C...

Geriatric Oncology

Geriatric Oncology, a Much Needed Discipline for Future Cancer Care

Ronald Piana  / November 15, 2011

The U.S. health-care system, with its rapidly aging population, faces a multitude of difficult clinical and financial challenges in caring for its burgeoning population of older patients with cancer. Moreover, age-related social and medical issues among older patients need to be addressed by a multi...




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