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ESMO 2021 | Role of geriatric assessment in treatment decisions for elderly patients with head and neck cancer

Paolo Bossi, MD, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy, updates us on the results of the ELDERLY study evaluating the role of geriatricians in the multidisciplinary team (MDT) supporting elderly patients with advanced head and neck tumors. In this study, the first treatment choice was based on a decision taken by the MDT, and this choice was re-assessed after screening tests and comprehensive assessments performed by the geriatrician. Dr Bossi explains that 1 out of 10 patients had their main treatment strategy changed following this re-assessment. In addition, the results from these tests also highlighted changes that could be made in the supportive care strategy that was initially suggested to each patient. Moreover, the distribution of patients into fit, vulnerable and frail categories by the geriatrician can also help adjust the treatment to lower treatment-related toxicity. This interview took place at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2021 congress.


Dr Bossi reports consultant/advisory board participation for BMS, MSD, Merck, Sanofi.

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