The geriatrician's perspective on practical aspects of the multidisciplinary care of older adults with cancer

J Geriatr Oncol. 2016 Sep;7(5):341-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jgo.2016.07.001. Epub 2016 Aug 1.


Multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) have been incorporated into the practical care of elderly patients with cancer. Several geriatric oncology centres have attempted to determine the best way to implement MDTs by using geriatric assessment (GA). Developing a geriatric oncology service is a feasible work, which requires significant resources. The challenges of MDTs must be known so that better care planning for elderly patients with cancer can be devised. The aim of this paper is to discuss the practical aspects of the multidisciplinary care of older adults with cancer by considering a geriatric point of view and the recent literature. Reviewing data from recent studies helps enumerate the major challenges in establishing collaboration in geriatric oncology: evaluating the resources of your centre, knowing the role of each member of the team, establishing good communication both within the team and with the patients, and determining referral criteria and using screening tests to select which patients can benefit the most from the multidisciplinary evaluation and a more thorough GA.

Keywords: Cancer; Elderly; Geriatric assessment; Geriatric medicine; Geriatric oncology; Multidisciplinarity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Geriatrics / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Medical Oncology / organization & administration*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Professional-Patient Relations