Bulletin du Cancer


What’s new in geriatric oncology ? Volume 93, issue 1, Janvier 2006


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Programme d’oncogériatrie, Centre Léon-Bérard, 28 rue Laennec, 69373 Lyon Cedex 08, Hôpital gériatrique Antoine-Charial, Hospices civils de Lyon, 40, rue de la Table-de-Pierre, 69340 Francheville

Remarkably, although 60% of new cancer cases and over 70% of cancer deaths occur in patients aged 65 years and older in Europe, standard treatment strategies have been mostly validated in younger adults. This demographic trend has led to the emergence of a new medical discipline, geriatric oncology and the development worldwide of geriatric oncology programs for the individualized management of elderly cancer patients. Elderly cancer patients represent an increasing share of the population and strategies for treating cancer must evolve to face this ineluctable reality. Treatment should take into account the highly heterogeneous physiological age of the elderly, their individual life expectancy, functional reserves, social support and preferences. French geriatric oncology programs have been mostly based on the interdependence of geriatricians, oncologists and auxiliary nursing people. This approach represent the best way to offer patients optimal management; oncologists and geriatricians collaborate to assess both global health status by means of Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) and tumor stage by means of Comprehensive Tumor Assessment (CTA) and to initiate individualized care plans, involving comprehensive management and follow-up of all identified problems. This paper focuses on progress observed in the field of geriatric oncology both in France and worldwide.