Practical Assessment and Management of Vulnerabilities in Older Patients Receiving Chemotherapy: ASCO Guideline for Geriatric Oncology.
ABSTRACT: Purpose To provide guidance regarding the practical assessment and management of vulnerabilities in older patients undergoing chemotherapy. Methods An Expert Panel was convened to develop clinical practice guideline recommendations based on a systematic review of the medical literature. Results A total of 68 studies met eligibility criteria and form the evidentiary basis for the recommendations. Recommendations In patients ? 65 years receiving chemotherapy, geriatric assessment (GA) should be used to identify vulnerabilities that are not routinely captured in oncology assessments. Evidence supports, at a minimum, assessment of function, comorbidity, falls, depression, cognition, and nutrition. The Panel recommends instrumental activities of daily living to assess for function, a thorough history or validated tool to assess comorbidity, a single question for falls, the Geriatric Depression Scale to screen for depression, the Mini-Cog or the Blessed Orientation-Memory-Concentration test to screen for cognitive impairment, and an assessment of unintentional weight loss to evaluate nutrition. Either the CARG (Cancer and Aging Research Group) or CRASH (Chemotherapy Risk Assessment Scale for High-Age Patients) tools are recommended to obtain estimates of chemotherapy toxicity risk; the Geriatric-8 or Vulnerable Elders Survey-13 can help to predict mortality. Clinicians should use a validated tool listed at ePrognosis to estimate noncancer-based life expectancy ? 4 years. GA results should be applied to develop an integrated and individualized plan that informs cancer management and to identify nononcologic problems amenable to intervention. Collaborating with caregivers is essential to implementing GA-guided interventions. The Panel suggests that clinicians take into account GA results when recommending chemotherapy and that the information be provided to patients and caregivers to guide treatment decision making. Clinicians should implement targeted, GA-guided interventions to manage nononcologic problems. Additional information is available at www.asco.org/supportive-care-guidelines .
Project description:BACKGROUND:Hospitalized older adults have significant geriatric deficits that may lead to poor outcomes. We conducted a randomized trial to investigate the effectiveness of providing clinicians with a real-time geriatric assessment (GA) report in nonelectively hospitalized older patients with cancer. SUBJECTS, MATERIALS, AND METHODS:We developed a web-based software platform for administering a modified GA (Cancer 2005;104:1998-2005) to older (>70?years) nonelectively hospitalized patients with pathologically confirmed malignancy. Patients were randomized to have their GA report provided to their treating clinicians (Intervention arm) or not provided (Control arm). RESULTS:Our study included 135 patients, median age 76 years, 52% female, 75% white, 21% black, 79% greater than high school education, 59% married, and 17% living alone. All patients had at least one GA-identified deficit, including physical function deficits (90%), cognitive impairment (22%), >5 comorbidities (28%), polypharmacy (>9 medications; 38%), weight loss ?10% in the past 6 months (40%), anxiety (32%), or depression (30%). There was no difference between the Intervention (6%) and Control arms (9%) in the proportion of patients who were referred by their clinical team for an intervention to address a deficit (p = .53). CONCLUSION:Many older nonelectively hospitalized patients with cancer have geriatric deficits that are amenable to evidence-based interventions. Real-time GA reports provided to the care team prior to discharge did not influence provider referral for such interventions. There is a need for systems-level interventions to address deficits in this vulnerable patient population. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:Geriatric deficits are common in hospitalized older adults with cancer and lead to poor outcomes. Addressing modifiable deficits represents an appealing way to improve outcomes. Widespread geriatrician consultation is impractical owing to resource and personnel constraints. This work tested whether prompt delivery of a mostly self-administered, web-based geriatric assessment report to clinicians improved referral rates for evidence-informed interventions. It confirmed frequent geriatric deficits and high readmission rates in this population but found that real-time geriatric assessment reporting did not influence provider referral for evidence-informed interventions on geriatric assessment identified deficits. These findings highlight the need for systems-level intervention to improve outcomes in this vulnerable patient population.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Older adults receiving cancer therapy have heightened risk for treatment-related toxicity. Geriatric assessment (GA) can identify impairments, which may contribute to vulnerability and adverse outcomes. GA management interventions can address these impairments and have the potential to improve outcomes when implemented. METHODS:We conducted a randomized pilot study comparing GA with management interventions versus usual care in patients with stage III/IV solid tumor malignancies (N = 71). In all patients, a trained coordinator conducted and scored a baseline GA with pre-determined cutoffs for impairment. For patients randomized to the intervention arm, an algorithm was used to identify GA management recommendations based upon identified impairments. Recommendations were relayed to the primary oncologist for implementation. GA was repeated at 3 months. The primary outcome was grade 3-5 chemotherapy toxicity. Secondary outcomes included feasibility, hospitalizations, dose reductions, dose delays, and early treatment discontinuation. RESULTS:The mean participant age was 76 (70-89). The total number of GA management recommendations relayed was 409, of which 35.4% were implemented by the primary oncologist. Incidence of grade 3-5 chemotherapy toxicity did not differ between the two groups. Prevalence of hospitalization, dose reductions, dose delays, and early treatment discontinuation also did not differ between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS:An algorithm can be used to guide GA management recommendations in older adults with cancer. However, reliance upon the primary oncologist for execution resulted in a low prevalence of implementation. Future work should aim to understand barriers to implementation and explore alternate models of implementing geriatric-focused care for older adults with cancer.
Project description:<h4>Aim</h4>In Japan, the number of older patients with cancer has been increasing. Assessment of performance status, cognitive function and social background is necessary for the treatment of older patients. The aims of the present study were: (i) to establish an evaluation system using electronic medical records; and (ii) to distinguish older patients as fit versus vulnerable or frail according to a geriatric assessment (GA) system score.<h4>Methods</h4>We incorporated GA tools in our electronic medical records system and carried out comprehensive assessments for patients with newly diagnosed lung cancer aged ?65?years. The decision about primary treatment followed consultation with the clinical team and was not guided by GA scores. Subsequent treatment and outcomes were recorded.<h4>Results</h4>A total of 100 patients had completed GA. The average age was 75?years (range 65-94?years). Regarding GA results, 63% were positive on the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment 7, 39% on the Vulnerable Elderly Survey-13 and 84% on the Geriatric?8. The percentage of vulnerable patients (positive on all three GA) was significantly higher in the non-standard therapy group (n =?19) than in the standard therapy group (n =?81; 78.9% vs 21.0%, P <?0.001). Among vulnerable patients who received standard therapy, 47% discontinued chemotherapy as a result of toxicity. Even if a patient was considered vulnerable based on GA scores, chemotherapy is possibly safe for those with EGFR mutations.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We confirmed the feasibility of this system. During decision-making for older patients with cancer, a combination of GA helps prevent undertreatment or overtreatment. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2019; 19: 1108-1111.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Older adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) represent a vulnerable population in whom disease-based and clinical risk factors, patient goals, prognosis, and practitioner- and patient-perceived treatment risks and benefits influence treatment recommendations. OBJECTIVE:These evidence-based guidelines of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) are intended to support patients, clinicians, and other health care professionals in their decisions about management of AML in older adults. METHODS:ASH formed a multidisciplinary guideline panel that included specialists in myeloid leukemia, geriatric oncology, patient-reported outcomes and decision-making, frailty, epidemiology, and methodology, as well as patients. The McMaster Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) Centre supported the guideline-development process, including performing systematic evidence reviews (up to 24 May 2019). The panel prioritized clinical questions and outcomes according to their importance to patients, as judged by the panel. The panel used the GRADE approach, including GRADE's Evidence-to-Decision frameworks, to assess evidence and make recommendations, which were subject to public comment. RESULTS:The panel agreed on 6 critical questions in managing older adults with AML, mirroring real-time practitioner-patient conversations: the decision to pursue antileukemic treatment vs best supportive management, the intensity of therapy, the role and duration of postremission therapy, combination vs monotherapy for induction and beyond, duration of less-intensive therapy, and the role of transfusion support for patients no longer receiving antileukemic therapy. CONCLUSIONS:Treatment is recommended over best supportive management. More-intensive therapy is recommended over less-intensive therapy when deemed tolerable. However, these recommendations are guided by the principle that throughout a patient's disease course, optimal care involves ongoing discussions between clinicians and patients, continuously addressing goals of care and the relative risk-benefit balance of treatment.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>The purpose of this study was to prospectively validate the Korean Cancer Study Group Geriatric Score (KG)-7, a novel geriatric screening tool, in older patients with advanced cancer planned to undergo first-line palliative chemotherapy.<h4>Materials and methods</h4>Participants answered the KG-7 questionnaire before undergoing geriatric assessment (GA) and first-line palliative chemotherapy. The performance of KG-7 was evaluated by calculating the sensitivity (SE), specificity (SP), positive and negative predictive value (PPV and NPV), balanced accuracy (BA), and area under the curve (AUC).<h4>Results</h4>The baseline GA and KG-7 results were collected from 301 patients. The median age was 75 years (range, 70 to 93 years). Abnormal GA was documented in 222 patients (73.8%). Based on the ? 5 cut-off value of KG-7 for abnormal GA, abnormal KG-7 score was shown in 200 patients (66.4%). KG-7 showed SE, SP, PPV, NPV, and BA of 75.7%, 59.7%, 84.4%, 46.0%, and 67.7%, respectively; AUC was 0.745 (95% confidence interval, 0.687 to 0.803). Furthermore, patients with higher KG-7 scores showed significantly longer survival (p=0.006).<h4>Conclusion</h4>KG-7 appears to be adequate in identifying patients with abnormal GA prospectively. Hence, KG-7 can be a useful screening tool for Asian countries with limited resources and high patient volume.
Project description:Geriatric assessment (GA) is an important tool for management of older cancer patients; however, GA research has been performed primarily in the outpatient setting. The primary objective of this study was to determine feasibility of GA during an unplanned hospital stay. Secondary objectives were to describe deficits found with GA, to assess whether clinicians recognized and addressed deficits, and to determine 30-day readmission rates.The study was designed as an extension of an existing registry, "Carolina Senior: Registry for Older Patients." Inclusion criteria were age 70 and older and biopsy-proven solid tumor, myeloma, or lymphoma. Patients had to complete the GA within 7 days of nonelective admission to University of North Carolina Hospital.A total of 142 patients were approached, and 90 (63%) consented to participation. All sections of GA had at least an 83% completion rate. Overall, 53% of patients reported problems with physical function, 63% had deficits in instrumental activities of daily living, 34% reported falls, 12% reported depression, 31% had ?10% weight loss, and 12% had abnormalities in cognition. Physician documentation of each deficit ranged from 20% to 46%. Rates of referrals to allied health professionals were not significantly different between patients with and without deficits. The 30-day readmission rate was 29%.GA was feasible in this population. Hospitalized older cancer patients have high levels of functional and psychosocial deficits; however, clinician recognition and management of deficits were poor. The use of GA instruments to guide referrals to appropriate services is a way to potentially improve outcomes in this vulnerable population.Geriatric assessment (GA) is an important tool in the management of older cancer patients; however, its primary clinical use has been in the outpatient setting. During an unplanned hospitalization, patients are extremely frail and are most likely to benefit from GA. This study demonstrates that hospitalized older adults with cancer have high levels of functional deficits on GA. These deficits are under-recognized and poorly managed by hospital-based clinicians in a tertiary care setting. Incorporation of GA measures during a hospital stay is a way to improve outcomes in this population.
Project description:A Pan-Canadian Practice Guideline on Screening, Assessment, and Care of Psychosocial Distress (Depression, Anxiety) in Adults With Cancer was identified for adaptation.American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has a policy and set of procedures for adapting clinical practice guidelines developed by other organizations. The guideline was reviewed for developmental rigor and content applicability.On the basis of content review of the pan-Canadian guideline, the ASCO panel agreed that, in general, the recommendations were clear, thorough, based on the most relevant scientific evidence, and presented options that will be acceptable to patients. However, for some topics addressed in the pan-Canadian guideline, the ASCO panel formulated a set of adapted recommendations based on local context and practice beliefs of the ad hoc panel members. It is recommended that all patients with cancer be evaluated for symptoms of depression and anxiety at periodic times across the trajectory of care. Assessment should be performed using validated, published measures and procedures. Depending on levels of symptoms and supplementary information, differing treatment pathways are recommended. Failure to identify and treat anxiety and depression increases the risk for poor quality of life and potential disease-related morbidity and mortality. This guideline adaptation is part of a larger survivorship guideline series.Although clinicians may not be able to prevent some of the chronic or late medical effects of cancer, they have a vital role in mitigating the negative emotional and behavioral sequelae. Recognizing and treating effectively those who manifest symptoms of anxiety or depression will reduce the human cost of cancer.
Project description:Heart failure (HF) is a quintessential geriatric cardiovascular condition, with more than 50% of hospitalizations occurring in adults age 75 years or older. In older patients, HF is closely linked to processes inherent to aging, which include cellular and structural changes to the myocardium, vasculature, and skeletal muscle. In addition, HF cannot be considered in isolation of physical functioning, or without the social, psychological, and behavioral dimensions of illness. The role of frailty, depression, cognitive impairment, nutrition, and goals of care are each uniquely relevant to the implementation and success of medical therapy. In this paper, we discuss a model of caring for older adults with HF through a 4-domain framework that can address the unique multidimensional needs and vulnerabilities of this population. We believe that clinicians who embrace this approach can improve health outcomes for older adults with HF.
Project description:Geriatric assessment (GA) is resource-consuming, necessitating screening tools to select appropriate patients who need full GA. The objective of this study is to design a novel geriatric screening tool with easy-to-answer questions and high performance objectively selected from a large dataset to represent each domain of GA. A development cohort was constructed from 1284 patients who received GA from May 2004 to April 2007. Items representing each domain of functional status, cognitive function, nutritional status, and psychological status in GA were selected according to sensitivity (SE) and specificity (SP). Of the selected items, the final questions were chosen by a panel of oncologists and geriatricians to encompass most domains evenly and also by feasibility and use with cancer patients. The selected screening questions were validated in a separate cohort of 98 cancer patients. The novel screening tool, the Korean Cancer Study Group Geriatric Score (KG)-7, consisted of 7 items representing each domain of GA. KG-7 had a maximal area under the curve (AUC) of 0.93 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.92-0.95) in the prediction of abnormal GA, which was higher than that of G-8 (0.87, 95% CI 0.85-0.89) within the development cohort. The cut-off value was decided at ? 5 points, with a SE of 95.0%, SP of 59.2%, positive predictive value (PPV) of 85.3%, and negative predictive value (NPV) of 82.6%. In the validation cohort, the AUC was 0.82 (95% CI 0.73-0.90), and the SE, SP, PPV, and NPV were 89.5%, 48.6%, 77.3%, and 75.0%, respectively. Furthermore, patients with higher KG-7 scores showed significantly longer overall survival (OS) in the development and validation cohorts. In conclusions, the KG-7 showed high SE and NPV to predict abnormal GA. The KG-7 also predicted OS. Given the results of our studies, the KG-7 could be used effectively in countries with high patient burden and low resources to select patients in need of full GA and intervention.
Project description:BACKGROUND:the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS-GMS) recommendations for training in Geriatric Medicine were published in 1993. The practice of Geriatric Medicine has developed considerably since then and it has therefore become necessary to update these recommendations. METHODS:under the auspices of the UEMS-GMS, the European Geriatric Medicine Society (EuGMS) and the European Academy of Medicine of Ageing (EAMA), a group of experts, representing all member states of the respective bodies developed a new framework for education and training of specialists in Geriatric Medicine using a modified Delphi technique. Thirty-two expert panel members from 30 different countries participated in the process comprising three Delphi rounds for consensus. The process was led by five facilitators. RESULTS:the final recommendations include four different domains: 'General Considerations' on the structure and aim of the syllabus as well as quality indicators for training (6 sub-items), 'Knowledge in patient care' (36 sub-items), 'Additional Skills and Attitude required for a Geriatrician' (9 sub-items) and a domain on 'Assessment of postgraduate education: which items are important for the transnational comparison process' (1 item). CONCLUSION:the current publication describes the development of the new recommendations endorsed by UEMS-GMS, EuGMS and EAMA as minimum training requirements to become a geriatrician at specialist level in EU member states.