EORTC-led study on older patients with advanced breast cancer shows clinical trials in the elderly are crucial

Breast Cancer in Old Age - Illustration

Breast Cancer in Old Age

Clinical trials in older patients are crucial if we are to effectively treat tumours while at the same time provide a good quality of life. Avoidance of side effects of chemotherapy is particularly important in the elderly; but finding the balance between reduced toxicity and maximum effectiveness is not always easy.

Dr Denis Lacombe, EORTC Director General, said: “We cannot and must not assume that because a drug is effective and relatively free of side effects in young to middle-aged adults that it will be the same for the elderly.” He continued, “we hope that regulators will listen to our views and put in place measures designed to encourage industry to carry out trials that include the older and frail patients who make up a large proportion of those affected by cancer. Only this way will they get medicines that are not just effective against tumours, but that also meet the requirement of providing a good quality of life.”


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