Elderly population needs new definition to inform treatment decisions

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Published: 27 Nov 2013
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Dr Reinhard Stauder, Prof Mario Boccadoro

For ecancer, Dr Reinhard Stauder from Innsbruck Medical University, Austria, speaks to Prof Mario Boccadoro from San Giovanni Hospital, Turin, Italy, at the 13th Conference of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) in Copenhagen, Denmark, about haematological malignancies which make up 10% of all malignancies.

Prof Boccadoro, the founder of the Italian myleoma group which focuses on elderly patients, individualised treatment, algorithms and new drugs, discusses recent results from studies with young myeloma patients, in whom survival has doubled in the last five to ten years and is set to increase further in future.

He discusses the impact of the new drugs on elderly patients and the different approaches to treatment that are needed for fit, healthy elderly patients compared with those who are frail.

The two experts also talk about the importance of quality of life, and of making treatment choices based on patients’ needs. The difficulties posed by the many emerging treatment options are outlined in terms of the need to explain the different options to patients, especially those with co-morbidities. Finally, they highlight the need for more data from studies with elderly patients in which new agents are combined with traditional chemotherapy.


This programme has been supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Janssen Pharmaceutica (A Johnson & Johnson Company).