Optimal screening for geriatric assessment in older allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation candidates

J Geriatr Oncol. 2014 Oct 1;5(4):422-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jgo.2014.04.004. Epub 2014 May 14.


Objective: Older patients who receive hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) may be at risk for adverse outcomes due to age-related conditions or frailty. Geriatric assessment (GA) has been used to evaluate HCT candidates but can be time-consuming. We therefore sought to determine the predictive ability of two screening tools, the Vulnerable Elders Survey (VES-13) and the G8, for abnormal GA or frailty.

Materials and methods: We enrolled 50 allogeneic HCT candidates age ≥60 years. The GA included measures of medical, physical, functional, and social health. Frailty was defined as 3 or more abnormalities on grip strength, gait speed, weight loss, exhaustion, and activity. We associated baseline characteristics and abnormal GA or frailty. We determined the sensitivity and predictive ability of the VES-13 and G8 for GA and frailty.

Results: Overall, 33 (66%) patients (mean age 65.4 years) had an abnormal GA, and 11 patients (22%) were frail. The G8 screening tool had a higher sensitivity for an abnormal GA (69.7%), and the VES-13 had a higher specificity (100%). Both tools had similar discriminatory ability.

Conclusions: Older HCT candidates had a significant number of deficits on baseline GA and a high prevalence of frailty. Existing screening tools may not be able to replace a full GA.

Keywords: Elderly; Frailty; Geriatric assessment; Screening tools; Stem cell transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly / statistics & numerical data*
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Geriatric Assessment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Texas