Changing the course of chemotherapy helps elderly cancer patients live better: study

A new research that was published in JAMA Network Open emphasizes the possible risks that older patients with cancer may face from routine chemotherapy regimens. According to a study led by experts at the Wilmot Cancer Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center, older patients’ quality of life may be markedly enhanced by customized chemotherapy regimens without sacrificing the efficacy of treatment.

Drs. Mostafa R. Mohamed, MD, PhD, and Supriya G. Mohile, MD, MS, conducted the study, which examined data from more than 600 participants in the national clinical trial GAP70+ who were 70 years of age or older. Remarkably, adjustments to treatment plans, such lowering dosages and changing timing, were beneficial to over 30% of patients in order to minimize harmful side effects.

Clinicians evaluated that patients on modified regimens had a 15% reduced risk of major adverse effects than those on normal chemotherapy. Furthermore, patients themselves indicated a 20% lower incidence of functional deterioration in these groups. Positively, a 32% decreased risk of unfavorable outcomes indicates that the changes did not impair treatment effectiveness.

The research highlights the value of tailored treatment plans for older persons with advanced cancer, a group that often has co-occurring illnesses. Healthcare practitioners may optimize treatment plans and enhance patient outcomes by modifying chemotherapy to better meet the requirements of elderly patients, sometimes going against established norms.

This study emphasizes how important it is to take comorbidities and age into account when developing cancer treatment plans. It offers insightful information that may help medical practitioners treat elderly cancer patients with more personalization and efficiency.

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