Background: Due to the aging of the population, the number of older patients diagnosed with a malignant disease is increasing. A multidisciplinary approach to the senior adult cancer patient is mandatory, to assure optimal diagnosis and therapeutic management.
Design: European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) has currently defined senior adult oncology as one of its priorities and has established an active Elderly Task Force (ETF). Under the auspices of the EORTC, the ETF organized a workshop on clinical trial methodology in older cancer patients and in this article, we present the conclusions of this workshop.
Results: Besides the 'classical' efficacy end points, quality of life, functional status and independence of the patient should be assessed in clinical trials in older patients. The participants of the workshop agreed on the use of a minimum dataset for the assessment of global health and functional status in older cancer patients. The panel also recommended that optimization of collaboration with pharmaceutical industry requires reporting of age-related data (subgroup analyses of clinical trials, age-related pooled analyses and obligatory post-marketing studies in vulnerable and frail older patients).
Conclusion: The identification of proper clinical outcomes and the validation of geriatric screening tools are needed for conducting sound and comparable clinical trials.