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Modifying chemotherapy treatment improves quality of life for older cancer patients: Study

A study in JAMA Network Open reveals modifying chemotherapy for older cancer patients improves outcomes without compromising efficacy. Tailored treatments reduce adverse effects, enhancing quality of life.

Rahul Pratyush Written By: Rahul Pratyush New Delhi Published on: February 22, 2024 18:00 IST
Cancer in old people
Image Source : GOOGLE Study finds chemo adjustments boost elderly cancer care

A recent study published in JAMA Network Open highlights the potential harm standard chemotherapy regimens may pose to older individuals battling cancer. Led by researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center's Wilmot Cancer Institute, the study suggests that tailoring chemotherapy regimens for older patients can significantly improve their quality of life without compromising treatment effectiveness.

The research, spearheaded by Dr. Mostafa R. Mohamed, MD, PhD, and Dr. Supriya G. Mohile, MD, MS, analyzed data from over 600 participants aged 70 and above enrolled in the national clinical trial GAP70+. Notably, more than 30 per cent of patients benefited from modifications to their treatment regimens, such as lower doses and altered schedules, aimed at reducing toxic side effects.

Compared to those receiving standard chemotherapy, patients with modified regimens experienced a 15 per cent lower risk of serious toxic effects as assessed by clinicians. Additionally, they exhibited a 20 per cent reduced risk of functional decline reported by patients themselves. Encouragingly, the modifications did not compromise treatment efficacy, as evidenced by a 32 per cent lower likelihood of experiencing adverse outcomes.

The study sheds light on the importance of individualized treatment approaches for older adults with advanced cancer, a population often contending with additional health conditions. By deviating from conventional guidelines and tailoring chemotherapy to suit older patients' needs, healthcare providers can optimize care plans and improve patient outcomes.

This research underscores the significance of considering age-related factors and comorbidities when designing cancer treatment strategies. It contributes valuable insights that can guide healthcare professionals in delivering more personalized and effective care to older individuals battling cancer.

(with ANI inputs)

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