ASCO Calls for Developing Oncology Trials for Geriatric Patients

The American Society of Clinical Oncology has issued a position statement in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, calling for federal agencies and the cancer research community to broaden clinical trials to include older adults.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has issued a position statement in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, calling for federal agencies and the cancer research community to broaden clinical trials to include older adults. ASCO also called for redefining eligibility for clinical trials. Despite being a fast-growing segment of the population within the United States, older adults are not well represented in clinical trials (CTs). Additionally, similar to pediatric trials, very few CTs are specifically designed for older adults, and physicians develop their treatment plans by extrapolating results obtained from the healthier, younger population.

The result? Lack of accurate toxicity data and absence of knowledge on age-appropriate trial end points.

With the position statement, ASCO makes 5 recommendations that can improve evidence-generation in the older population:

  • Use clinical trials to improve the evidence base for treating older adults.
  • Leverage research designs and infrastructure to improve the evidence base for treating older adults.
  • Increase FDA authority to incentivize and require research on older adults with cancer.
  • Increase clinicians' recruitment of older adults with cancer into clinical trials.
  • Utilize journal policies to incentivize researchers to consistently report on the age distribution and health risk profiles of research participants.

“Older people living with cancer often have different experiences and outcomes in their treatment than younger cancer patients,” said ASCO President Julie M. Vose, MD, MBA, FASCO. “As we age, for example, the risk of adverse reactions from treatment significantly increases. Older adults must be involved in clinical trials so we can learn the best way to treat older cancer patients resulting in improved outcomes and manageable toxicity.”

Read the press release here: http://bit.ly/1fhRGY4