Dr. Burke on the Underrepresentation of Elderly Patients in Clinical Trials for Lymphoma

John M. Burke, MD, discusses the underrepresentation of elderly patients in clinical trials for lymphoma.

John M. Burke, MD, blood cancer specialist, Rocky Mountain Cancer Center, discusses the underrepresentation of elderly patients in clinical trials for lymphoma.

Due to the inability to tolerate some treatments, older patients tend to be excluded more frequently from clinical trials across all cancer types, Burke says. Additionally, when drugs are being developed, extended survival is a key component to demonstrating benefit, and older patients have a naturally shorter lifespan than younger patients, Burke explains.

Survival can also be influenced by comorbidities in elderly patients, affecting a patient’s ability to tolerate adverse effects, Burke continues. For example, an elderly patient may have a higher risk of underlying cardiac or kidney disease, leading to poor tolerance and increased toxicities, Burke explains. The risks of comorbidities impacting a drug’s effectiveness lead to elderly patients being excluded from clinical trials, Burke concludes.

Related Videos
Related Content