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Cancer in the Elderly: Prevalence and Impact of Age Related Problems. A Prospective Observational Study

70 Years
Open (Enrolling)

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Trial Information

Cancer in the Elderly: Prevalence and Impact of Age Related Problems. A Prospective Observational Study

The proportion of elderly cancer patients is high and is likely to increase due to an
increasing cancer incidence and an aging population. The prevalence and impact of age
related problems are, however, poorly documented, and elderly patients may therefore be
subjects to under-treatment and arbitrary modifications of treatment regimens. In order to
improve clinical practice, precise identification of patients with increased vulnerability
and risk of adverse outcomes is paramount.

In the present study, eligible patients will be identified by referral to oncology services
at one of the participating cancer units. After consent, the baseline registrations will be
performed including relevant medical and sociodemographic data, and quality of life. Age
related problems will be assessed by clinical indicators covering comorbidity, medication,
emotional, physical and cognitive function and nutritional status. Muscle mass will be
quantified by analyses of diagnostic CT scans and a biobank will be established for the
analyses of inflammatory markers. Upon inclusion, the patients' physician will be asked to
rate the patients as fit, frail or intermediate according to the physicians' subjective
judgement. The patients will be followed with assessments of quality of life, emotional
function and nutritional status (self-report), cognitive and physical function (performance
tests), muscle mass (diagnostic CT scans when available) and inflammatory markers (biobank).
Follow up data will also include registry data (hospital records, primary health care
registries, The Norwegian Patient Registry, The Norwegian Cancer Registry and the Norwegian
Cause of Death registry). We will describe the prevalence of age related problems,
investigate the relation between clinical frailty indicators, sarcopenia, inflammatory
response and the physicians' subjective evaluation of the patients' health status. The
predictive/prognostic impact of frailty indicators on the patients' quality of life,
hospital and nursing home admittance, treatment toxicity and survival will also be

Inclusion Criteria:

- age >= 70 years

- histologically/cytologically verified cancer disease

- referred to specialist oncology service

- no former chemotherapy for actual status (new cancer diagnosis no former or
chemotherapy for metastatic disease)

- subject to medical oncological treatment that may be initiated and administered at
the hospital trust the patient is referred to

- able to provide written consent

- fluent in Norwegian (orally and written)

Exclusion Criteria:

- lymphomas and haematological malignancies

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Prospective

Outcome Measure:

Prevalence of age related problems

Outcome Description:

Age related problems assessed by clinical indicators including comorbidity, medication, emotional, physical, cognitive function, nutritional status and quality of life

Outcome Time Frame:

At baseline

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Marit S Jordhøy, MD, PhD

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

Sykehuset Innlandet and Oslo University Hospital


Norway: Data Protection Authority

Study ID:




Start Date:

January 2013

Completion Date:

January 2017

Related Keywords:

  • Cancer
  • Cancer
  • elderly OR older
  • chemotherapy
  • geriatric assessment