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Keywords:

  • paclitaxel;
  • carboplatin;
  • geriatric oncology;
  • quality of life;
  • functionality;
  • symptoms;
  • chemotherapy;
  • elderly patients

Abstract

BACKGROUND

To measure functionality, symptoms, and quality of life in elderly patients, a geriatric oncology module (GOM) was developed that could be rapidly and effectively administered in community oncology practices.

METHODS

The GOM was validated by semi structured patient interviews. The authors tested 26 patients receiving chemotherapy with paclitaxel or paclitaxel plus carboplatin to determine the effect of drug treatment on functionality, symptoms, and quality of life (QOL).

RESULTS

Chemotherapy stabilized or improved functionality, symptoms, and QOL in 75%, 86%, and 76% of patients, respectively. This GOM was easily implemented in a busy community oncology practice.

CONCLUSIONS

Weekly paclitaxel and paclitaxel plus carboplatin produced measurable palliation in geriatric oncology patients. This GOM may be useful in the assessment of specific chemotherapeutic interventions in elderly patients with cancer in community oncology practices. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.