Glioblastoma in the elderly - how do we choose who to treat?

Lorimer, C. F., Saran, F., Chalmers, A. J. and Brock, J. (2016) Glioblastoma in the elderly - how do we choose who to treat? Journal of Geriatric Oncology, 7(6), pp. 453-456. (doi: 10.1016/j.jgo.2016.07.005) (PMID:27478132)

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Abstract

Objective: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the commonest primary malignant brain tumour amongst the adult population. Incidence peaks in the 7th and 8th decades of life and as our global population ages, rates are increasing. GBM is an almost universally fatal disease with life expectancy in the range of 3–5 months amongst the elderly. Materials and Methods: The assessment of elderly GBM patients prior to treatment decisions is poorly researched and unstandardised. In order to begin tackling this issue we performed a cross-sectional survey across all UK based consultant neuro-oncologists to review their current practice in assessing elderly GBM patients. Results: There were 56 respondents from a total of 93 recipients (60% response rate). All respondents confirmed that at least some patients aged 70 or over were referred to their clinics from the local multidisciplinary team meeting (MDT). Only 18% of consultants routinely performed a cognitive or frailty screening test at initial consultation. Of those who performed a screening test, the majority reported that the results of the test changed their treatment decision in approximately 50% of cases. Participants ranked performance status as the most important factor in determining treatment decisions. Conclusions: Considering the heterogeneity of this patient population, we argue that performance status is a crude measure of vulnerability within this cohort. Elderly GBM patients represent a unique clinical scenario because of the complexity of distinguishing neuro-oncology related symptoms from general frailty. There is a need for specific geriatric assessment models tailored to the elderly neuro-oncology population in order to facilitate treatment decisions.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Chalmers, Professor Anthony
Authors: Lorimer, C. F., Saran, F., Chalmers, A. J., and Brock, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Geriatric Oncology
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1879-4068
ISSN (Online):1879-4076
Published Online:28 July 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Elsevier
First Published:First published in Journal of Geriatric Oncology 7(6): 453-456
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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