Frailty in childhood cancer survivors

Kirsten K. Ness, Gregory T. Armstrong, Mondira Kundu, Carmen L. Wilson, Tamara Tchkonia, James L Kirkland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Scopus citations


Young adult childhood cancer survivors are at an increased risk of frailty, a physiologic phenotype typically found among older adults. This phenotype is associated with new-onset chronic health conditions and mortality among both older adults and childhood cancer survivors. Mounting evidence suggests that poor fitness, muscular weakness, and cognitive decline are common among adults treated for childhood malignancies, and that risk factors for these outcomes are not limited to those treated with cranial radiation. Although the pathobiology of this phenotype is not known, early cellular senescence, sterile inflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction in response to initial cancer or treatment-related insults are hypothesized to play a role. To the authors' knowledge, interventions to prevent or remediate frailty among childhood cancer survivors have not been tested to date. Pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and lifestyle interventions have demonstrated some promise. Cancer 2015;121:1540-1547.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1540-1547
Number of pages8
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • aging
  • childhood cancer survivor
  • fitness
  • frailty
  • inflammation
  • mitochondrial dysfunction
  • senescence
  • weakness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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  • Cite this

    Ness, K. K., Armstrong, G. T., Kundu, M., Wilson, C. L., Tchkonia, T., & Kirkland, J. L. (2015). Frailty in childhood cancer survivors. Cancer, 121(10), 1540-1547.