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Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment For Older Patients With Cancer

Martine Extermann, Arti Hurria

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Purpose During the last decade, oncologists and geriatricians have begun to work together to integrate the principles of geriatrics into oncology care. The increasing use of a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) is one example of this effort. A CGA includes an evaluation of an older individual's functional status, comorbid medical conditions, cognition, nutritional status, psychological state, and social support; and a review of the patient's medications. This article discusses recent advances on the use of a CGA in older patients with cancer. Methods In this article, we provide an update on the studies that address the domains of a geriatric assessment applied to the oncology patient, review the results of the first studies evaluating the use of a CGA in developing interventions to improve the care of older adults with cancer, and discuss future research directions. Results The evidence from recent studies demonstrates that a CGA can predict morbidity and mortality in older patients with cancer. Accumulating data show the benefits of incorporating a CGA in the evaluation of older patients with cancer. Prospective trials evaluating the utility of a CGA to guide interventions to improve the quality of cancer care in older adults are justified. Conclusion Growing evidence demonstrates that the variables examined in a CGA can predict morbidity and mortality in older patients with cancer, and uncover problems relevant to cancer care that would otherwise go unrecognized.