Improving outcomes for older women with gynaecological malignancies.
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The incidence of most gynaecological malignancies rises significantly with increasing age. With an ageing population, the proportion of women over the age of 65 with cancer is expected to rise substantially over the next decade. Unfortunately, survival outcomes are much poorer in older patients and evidence suggests that older women with gynaecological cancers are less likely to receive current standard of care treatment options. Despite this, older women are under-represented in practice changing clinical studies. The evidence for efficacy and tolerability is therefore extrapolated from a younger; often more fit population and applied to in every day clinical practice to older patients with co-morbidities. There has been significant progress in the development of geriatric assessment in oncology to predict treatment outcomes and tolerability however there is still no clear evidence that undertaking a geriatric assessment improves patient outcomes. Clinical trials focusing on treating older patients are urgently required. In this review, we discuss the evidence for treatment of gynaecological cancers as well as methods of assessing older patients for therapy. Potential biomarkers of ageing are also summarised.
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Cancer treatment reviews, 2016, 50 pp. 99 - 108