Haematological cancers in the elderly

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Published: 13 Feb 2011
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Prof Bertrand Coiffier - Hospices Civils de Lyon, France
Prof Bertrand Coiffier speaks about the upcoming meeting on haematological cancers in the elderly, 18-20th March 2011, Rome. Haematological cancers occur most commonly in older patients and this meeting will help clinicians learn how to treat these cancers, something that can be complicated by the presence of comorbitities.

2010 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting 3rd - 7th December

Interview with Prof Bertrand Coiffier - Hospices Civils de Lyon, France

Haematological cancers in the elderly


IV         Interviewer

BC        Bertrand Coiffier



IV         There is going to be a very important meeting in March in 2011 in Rome on Blood Cancers and the Elderly.  Now, could you tell me about what you are going to be doing there?


BC        I've been part of the advisory board for this meeting and I think it’s really an important meeting because the population of the world is getting older and older.  And the most frequent cancer in haematology, like lymphoma, but also multiple myeloma or CLL, are seen in elderly patients, that is with medium age that is older than 60.  So we have a lot of patients, elderly patients or very old patients, with haematologic cancer and these patients need special attention because they could not receive the standard therapy we are doing in young patients. 


And currently the studies, randomised studies or the studies of new drugs, are not really done in elderly patients and so we need to do that because it’s... for tomorrow we will have a lot and more of these patients - and we need to know how to treat them.  And the problem here is that when you are 70 you have other diseases, diabetes, hypertension, cardiac problems, whatever; you have other diseases and these diseases may interfere with your lymphoma or your myeloma and change the treatment.


IV         What are one or two of the key issues that you personally expect to see addressed at this meeting?


BC        These patients aged over 70 have several years of life in front of them, so they need to be treated like a young patient, to be cured, and this is a problem.  We need to have special therapies but active therapies to cure them and one hope of this meeting is to define these special therapies we may use in elderly patients, but we may use to cure them, not as palliative treatment. 


IV         What then will clinicians attending the meeting or following it get from this event?


BC        Probably the notion that an elderly patient is not so old and may be cured and needs to be cured from their disease.


IV         Bertrand Coiffier, thank you very much for joining us.  We look forward to the Rome event and we hope to catch up with you again on eCancer TV.