In developed countries, the single greatest risk factor for developing Cancer is aging. In fact, more than 60% of Cancers in the United States occur in people aged 65 and older. Because older adults with Cancer and their families often have different needs than younger adults and children, their care and treatment should be carefully considered. However, when it comes to older adults with Cancer, age is just a number. Each elderly will have a unique health condition, autonomy and a different expectation of the treatment. As a result, a person’s age should not be the only factor considered when determining treatment options for Cancer.
Therefore, BRIO designed this program aiming at improving the patient prognosis through intervention at each of the following levels:
- Optimisation of patient selection process with optimal use of data from pre-treatment work-up including geriatric assessment tools
- Optimisation of treatment strategy through innovative locoregional therapy, introduction of specific rules of treatment adaptation inspired from the geriatric experience and refinement of patient management with geriatric intervention
- Identification of potential solutions which may arise from the biological understanding of the disease through search of tumours specificities in the elderly (tumour initiating stem cells and global immune response) and through early introduction of targeted therapies in patients who cannot benefit from standard chemotherapy because of frailty
- Identification and intervention on barriers to optimal management either at the social and psychological level.
The objective of the current program is to combine multiple approaches in order to improve the outcome of elderly patients with cancer through individualisation of treatment and management for each patient according to baseline characteristics and evolution. Different types of cancer will be suggested as models, each with its own specificities which will help exploring specific problems. Lessons learned from this experience may further be extrapolated to other types of cancer at different levels.