Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bedside assessment may provide better outcomes for older cancer patients

Date:
October 26, 2011
Source:
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
In geriatric medicine, the adage that age is just a number holds true. New research uses a simple assessment tool to determine how well older adults diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) can handle treatment.

In geriatric medicine, the adage that age is just a number holds true. New research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center uses a simple assessment tool to determine how well older adults diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) can handle treatment.

"We're trying to develop better assessment strategies for older adults with this particularly aggressive disease because, functionally, they encompass a broad age spectrum," said Heidi D. Klepin, M.D., M.S., of Wake Forest Baptist and the study's lead author. "It's well known that older patients with acute leukemia do not tolerate and benefit from standard, aggressive therapies as much as younger patients. However, certain older individuals can clearly benefit from aggressive treatment. We know we need to treat their cancer, but can we individualize the treatment to each patient and get them through their cancer treatment in better shape?"

Most treatment recommendations are based on chronological age stratification, said Klepin, an assistant professor of internal medicine, hematology/oncology. Research has importantly focused on how to better treat the tumor, but there has been little focus on the individual patient as a whole to quantify how functional they are across the board to withstand the aggressive treatment, she added.

For Klepin, this means looking beyond the patient's chronological age. "You're 70, but what kind of a 70-year-old are you? Are you a very functional 70-year-old and pass all these assessments with flying colors?" she said. "Then you should be treated like a 55-year-old. But if you're a frail 70-year-old, we need to take that into consideration and figure out ways to get you through the treatment better or consider alternative treatment strategies that can be better tolerated."

The study, published in this month's issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, looked at whether a bedside geriatric assessment (GA) can be a useful tool to evaluate cognitive function, psychological state, physical function and co-morbid disease to identify those patients most vulnerable to the side effects of AML chemotherapy. This is the first study to evaluate the feasibility of performing a comprehensive GA among newly diagnosed older adults with AML to provide better, more individualized treatment.

The study was conducted at Wake Forest Baptist over an 18-month period and involved 61 patients; the mean age was 70.8. Klepin said that as a group, these patients presented with depressive symptoms, distress and physical function impairments and had more difficulty with mobility tasks. The simple questionnaires and functional tests done as part of this assessment picked up symptoms and impairments that standard oncology assessments do not routinely identify, she explained.

"Ultimately, information gained from a geriatric assessment could help optimize therapeutic decision making and clinical outcomes for older adults with AML," said Klepin. "Our hope is to take this assessment and streamline it so any nurse can administer it at the bedside and give the clinician more information about that patient than they would have had before. This will help us get them through their treatments in the best shape possible."

Klepin is funded by the Wake Forest University Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, Atlantic Philanthropies, American Society of Hematology, John A. Hartford Foundation, and Association of Specialty Professors.

Co-authors include: Ann M. Geiger, Ph.D., Janet A. Tooze, Ph.D., Stephen B. Kritchevsky, Ph.D., Jeff D. Williamson, M.D., M.H.S., Leslie R. Ellis, M.D., Denise Levitan, M.D., Timothy S. Pardee, M.D., Ph.D., Scott Isom, M.S., and Bayard L. Powell, M.D., all of Wake Forest Baptist.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Heidi D. Klepin, Ann M. Geiger, Janet A. Tooze, Stephen B. Kritchevsky, Jeff D. Williamson, Leslie R. Ellis, Denise Levitan, Timothy S. Pardee, Scott Isom, Bayard L. Powell. The Feasibility of Inpatient Geriatric Assessment for Older Adults Receiving Induction Chemotherapy for Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2011; 59 (10): 1837 DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03614.x

Cite This Page:

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. "Bedside assessment may provide better outcomes for older cancer patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111026113830.htm>.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. (2011, October 26). Bedside assessment may provide better outcomes for older cancer patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111026113830.htm
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. "Bedside assessment may provide better outcomes for older cancer patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111026113830.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins