Dose adjustment and supportive care before and during treatment

Antonella Brunello, Elena Loaldi, Lodovico Balducci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Though elderly patients represent a majority of cancer patients, their treatment of is still inadequate, mainly due to the lack of data deriving from randomized clinical trials. Factors limiting the use of standard chemotherapy regimens in elderly cancer patients are the fear of toxicity and unexpected side effects. The assessment of comorbidity and the multidimensional geriatric assessment are of major importance in the decision plan. All supportive measures must be adopted in order to successfully treat vulnerable and unfit elderly patients with cancer, and in particular, the use of growth factors when chemotherapy is given with curative intent; rule out anemia and possible causes of anemia, and correct them whenever possible; choose cytotoxics according to expected adverse events and possible interference with concomitant medications. Particular attention must be paid to treatment of pain in the elderly with cancer. Caregivers must be involved in the treatment plan, and phone contacts with the patient and caregivers are needed to verify physical conditions and compliance to prescriptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-498
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Treatment Reviews
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • Chemotherapy
  • Comorbidity
  • Elderly
  • Growth factors
  • Pain management
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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