Cancer is primarily a disease of older adults, and as a result improving the care for older patients with cancer is becoming increasingly important. In this respect, the 2020 virtual ASCO meeting featured a fascinating and very important session entitled “You’re only old once: improving outcomes for older adults with cancer.” In this session, positive results were presented of four randomised controlled trials evaluating whether or not geriatric assessment has the potential to improve treatment outcomes in older patients with cancer. Three of these trials focused on the geriatric management of patients receiving chemotherapy or other cytotoxic agents, while a fourth study evaluated to what extent perioperative oncogeriatric management could improve the outcome of patients undergoing surgery for gastrointestinal cancer. Overall, all these studies indicate that an integrated geriatric oncology assessment provides an important clinical benefit to older cancer patients.
(BELG J MED ONCOL 2020;14(5):218-21)