Older adults with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) pose unique treatment and supportive care challenges to oncologists and other cancer care providers. The majority of patients with HNSCC present with locoregionally advanced disease, for which combined-modality treatment integrating chemotherapy and radiation therapy is often necessary to maximize tumor control. However, applying these approaches to an older population with concomitant comorbidities and a higher risk of functional impairments remains challenging and is exacerbated by the paucity of studies involving older adults. The purpose of this article is to identify knowledge gaps in the evaluation and management of older adults with HNSCC—particularly those undergoing concurrent chemoradiation therapy—and their caregivers through a review of the literature conducted by clinicians, researchers, and patient advocates. The findings highlight the importance of a geriatric assessment and the therapeutic paradigms and challenges relevant to this population. Furthermore, we identify the need for additional research and interventions related to key supportive care issues that arise during and after treatment in older adults with locoregionally advanced HNSCC. On the basis of our findings, we prioritize these issues to guide future patient-oriented research endeavors to address these knowledge gaps and thus better serve this growing patient population.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics|
|State||Published - Jul 15 2017|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research