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A comment on the International Society of Geriatric Oncology guidelines: evidence-based advice for the clinical setting

John M Fitzpatrick, Markus Graefen, Heather A Payne, Florian Scotté, Matti S Aapro
Oncologist 2012, 17 Suppl 1: 31-5
23015683
Largely a disease of older men, prostate cancer is likely to become a growing burden in the developed world as the population ages and overall life expectancy increases. Furthermore, prostate cancer management in older men is not optimal, reflecting the lack of training dedicated to senior adults in fellowship programs and the lack of specific guidelines to manage senior adults. The International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) convened a multidisciplinary Prostate Cancer Working Group to review the evidence base and provide advice on the management of the disease in senior age groups. The Working Group reported that advancing age, by itself, is not a reliable guide to treatment decision making for men with either localized or advanced prostate cancer. Instead, the SIOG guidelines advise health care teams to assess the patient's underlying health status, which is largely dictated by associated comorbid conditions, but also by dependency in activities of daily living and nutritional status, and to use the findings to categorize the individual into one of four groups: healthy, vulnerable, frail, or terminally ill. The guidelines recommend that a patient categorized as healthy or vulnerable (i.e., with reversible problems following geriatric intervention) should receive the same approach to treatment as a younger patient. Frail patients should be managed using adapted treatment strategies, and the terminally ill should receive symptomatic/palliative care only. The guidelines may have ongoing relevance as the treatment options for prostate cancer expand.

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