The challenge in treating the older adult with cancer is accurately accounting for and adapting management to the heterogeneity in health status of the individual patient. Many oncologists recognize that chronological age alone should not be the determinant when deciding on a treatment regimen. Easily measurable markers that provide an assessment of functional age would be ideal to assess frailty, which may predispose the patient to complications from cancer treatment, including increased toxicity, functional decline, decreased quality of life, and poorer survival. Several categories of potential markers, including chronic inflammatory markers, markers of cellular senescence, and imaging to assess muscle mass to detect sarcopenia, may provide insight into the likelihood of treatment-related complications. This article discusses candidate markers and strategies to evaluate these markers in cancer treatment trials, with the aim of developing a method to assess risk of oncologic outcomes and guide management decisions for both the physician and patient.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research