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Strategies to Improve Participation of Older Adults in Cancer Research

Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research, City of Hope, Duarte, CA 91010, USA
Department of Internal Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90502, USA
Department of Supportive Care Medicine, City of Hope, Duarte, CA 91010, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Authors contributed equally.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(5), 1571;
Received: 17 April 2020 / Revised: 15 May 2020 / Accepted: 19 May 2020 / Published: 22 May 2020
Cancer is a disease associated with aging. As the US population ages, the number of older adults with cancer is projected to dramatically increase. Despite this, older adults remain vastly underrepresented in research that sets the standards for cancer treatments and, consequently, clinicians struggle with how to interpret data from clinical trials and apply them to older adults in practice. A combination of system, clinician, and patient barriers bar opportunities for trial participation for many older patients, and strategies are needed to address these barriers at multiple fronts, five of which are offered here. This review highlights the need to (1) broaden eligibility criteria, (2) measure relevant end points, (3) expand standard trial designs, (4) increase resources (e.g., institutional support, interdisciplinary care, and telehealth), and (5) develop targeted interventions (e.g., behavioral interventions to promote patient enrollment). Implementing these solutions requires a substantial investment in engaging and collaborating with community-based practices, where the majority of older patients with cancer receive their care. Multifaceted strategies are needed to ensure that older patients with cancer, across diverse healthcare settings, receive the highest-quality, evidence-based care. View Full-Text
Keywords: geriatric oncology; older adults; cancer clinical trials; recruitment; community; team science geriatric oncology; older adults; cancer clinical trials; recruitment; community; team science
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Liu, J.; Gutierrez, E.; Tiwari, A.; Padam, S.; Li, D.; Dale, W.; Pal, S.K.; Stewart, D.; Subbiah, S.; Bosserman, L.D.; Presant, C.; Phillips, T.; Yap, K.; Hill, A.; Bhatt, G.; Yeon, C.; Cianfrocca, M.; Yuan, Y.; Mortimer, J.; Sedrak, M.S. Strategies to Improve Participation of Older Adults in Cancer Research. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 1571.

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