Review Article

Phase 1 Clinical Trials in the Elderly: Enrollment Challenges

Carol Guarnieri, RN, MSN, FNP-C, and Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, FACP, FASCO, FAACR

From HonorHealth Research Institute, Scottsdale, Arizona

Authors’ disclosures of conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

Correspondence to: Carol Guarnieri RN, MSN, FNP-C, HonorHealth Research Institute, 10510 N. 92nd Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85258


J Adv Pract Oncol 2020;11(5):494–501 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2020.11.5.5 | © 2020 Harborside™


  

ABSTRACT

Cancer mostly affects older adults. Despite the increased incidence of cancer among older adults, they are underrepresented in oncology clinical trials. Such trials can provide patients with early access to promising interventions. Clinical trials are changing the future of cancer treatments. This article provides advanced practitioners in oncology an understanding of potential barriers to enrollment of older adults in oncology clinical trials. This article also summarizes the literature comparing tolerance, toxicity, and clinical benefit in the elderly compared with the nonelderly. Enrollment of elderly patients is essential. It is therefore important to create strategies to increase their enrollment. Advanced practitioners, along with other members of the health-care team, play an important role to advocate for elderly patients in phase I clinical trials.




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