Dr. Mohile on Using a Geriatric Assessment in Older Patients With Cancer

Supriya Gupta Mohile, MD, MS

Supriya Gupta Mohile, MD, MS, professor of medicine and surgery, James Wilmot Cancer Institute, director, Geriatric Oncology Clinic, University of Rochester, discusses clustered findings with a geriatric assessment for older patients with cancer in an interview with OncLive during the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting.

A geriatric assessment is a standardized tool to assess health status in older adults, using age, comorbidity, and performance status. However, those characteristics are not the most effective way to identify patients at highest risk of poor outcomes, Mohile explains. Evidence suggest that geriatric assessments can help oncologists identify patients who are at the highest risk of adverse outcomes, such as toxicity from treatment, hospitalization, mortality, and functional decline. These have also been published in recent ASCO guidelines, she adds.

Patients aged 70 and older may have medical conditions other than cancer that would make them unlikely candidates for clinical trials, but their life expectancy is often long enough to warrant cancer treatment; however, there are limited data for these patients. Mohile questions how oncologists can improve conversations about issues that older patients and caregivers care about, and how the geriatric assessment can be used to do that.

The clustered study showed that providing a geriatric assessment summary to oncologists increases the number and quality of discussions about age-related concerns and improves patient satisfaction.

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