Advances in geriatric oncology: a multidisciplinary perspective


A growing majority of people with cancer is composed of older patients. For many such patients, independence and quality of life are as important as prolongation of survival, emphasizing the need for treatments that are not only effective but also well-tolerated. Given age-related decline in organ function and the prevalence of comorbidities and polypharmacy, optimum management is complex and requires collaboration between oncologists and geriatricians. Advances in surgery now include preoperative assessment and, when indicated, prehabilitation of the patient, as well as the enhanced recovery after surgery approach. Medical treatment is benefiting from the advent of highly effective novel immunomodulatory agents that join the tumor-targeted small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies in modifying the tolerability of therapy. Improved tolerability is evident with radiotherapy (RT). The adoption of stereotactic body RT in community oncology practice is increasing the proportion of elderly patients with comorbidities who can receive curative treatment. A further aspect of precision medicine as it relates to the older cancer patient is the tailoring of intervention to the robustness or frailty and life expectancy of the individual. Quantitative and validated tools for comprehensive geriatric assessment are playing an important role in this process.

Post author correction

Article Type: REVIEW



Ponnandai Somasundar, Loïc Mourey, Laura Lozza, Stefania Maggi, Rob Stepney

Article History


Financial support: No financial support was received for this submission.
Conflict of interest: None of the authors has conflict of interest with this submission.

This article is available as full text PDF.

  • If you are a Subscriber, please log in now.

  • Article price: Eur 36,00
  • You will be granted access to the article for 72 hours and you will be able to download any format (PDF or ePUB). The article will be available in your login area under "My PayPerView". You will need to register a new account (unless you already own an account with this journal), and you will be guided through our online shop. Online purchases are paid by Credit Card through PayPal.
  • If you are not a Subscriber you may:
  • Subscribe to this journal
  • Unlimited access to all our archives, 24 hour a day, every day of the week.



  • Department of Surgical Oncology, Roger Williams Medical Center, Providence, Rhode Island - USA
  • Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts - USA
  • Department of Medical Oncology, Institut Claudius Regaud, IUCT-O, Toulouse - France
  • Radiotherapy Unit 1, Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan - Italy
  • President of the EUGS, European Union Geriatric Medicine Society, Vienna - Austria
  • Medical Writer, Charlbury - UK

Article usage statistics

The blue line displays unique views in the time frame indicated.
The yellow line displays unique downloads.
Views and downloads are counted only once per session.

No supplementary material is available for this article.