CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol 2021; 42(02): 121
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1735373

A Descriptive Study to Assess the Association of Geriatric Score with Observed Chemo Toxicity in Cancer Patients Older than 60 Years

Jangala Sai Vihar
1   Department of Internal Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
Deepak Mulajker
2   Department of Oncology, Command Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India
› Author Affiliations


Introduction Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide with elderly patients being predominantly affected. There seems to be a bias against administering chemotherapy to elderly patients with fewer elderly patients receiving chemotherapy as compared with their stagematched younger patients because of concerns about their capacity to endure treatment. To make personalized treatment decisions and to anticipate serious adverse effects, a toxicity prediction tool that can be computed at the bedside is the need of the hour. This well-validated score has not been tested in the Indian population. So, we decided to test the same score in our patients and try to correlate the score with the observed toxicity.

Objectives This study was aimed to determine geriatric functional status by means of a standardized geriatric score and to correlate geriatric score with observed chemo toxicity.

Materials and Methods Fifty consecutive elderly patients (age > 60 years) with a diagnosis of cancer and scheduled for chemotherapy were recruited. These patients were evaluated using the geriatric assessment tool which is based on functional, nutritional, and psychological status. After that patient’s pretherapy, chemo toxicity score or geriatric score was calculated using a published well-validated tool that consisted of 11 prechemotherapy variables as follows:

a) Age of patient,

b) Cancer type

c) Planned chemotherapy dose,

d) Planned number of chemotherapy drugs

e) Hemoglobin,

f) Creatinine clearance

g) Geriatric questions like -

i. How is your hearing?

ii. Number of falls in past 6 months?

iii. Can take your own medicines?

iv. Does your health limit you in walking one block ? during past 4 weeks

v. How much of time has your physical health or emotional problems interfered with your social activities (like visiting with friends, relatives etc.)

The patients were then followed from the beginning to the end of six cycles of their chemotherapy regimen. Toxicities were noted after each clinical encounter by using the NCI-CTCAE, version 3.0.25.

Results General characteristics: the mean age of participants was 66 years (standard deviation [SD] = 4.6 and range: 60–85 years). Of them, 60% received polychemotherapy and 82% received standard doses of chemotherapy. The mean score on activities of daily living was 66.7, comorbidity score was 2.7, the psychological scale was 63.8, the social-activity scale was 54.3, and social-support scale was 64.1. The mean pretherapy toxicity score is 7.24 according to the toxicity calculator. At least one grade 3 to 5 toxicity occurred in 30% of the patients (66% of grade 3, 20% of grade 4, and 13.3% of grade 5). The correlation between the predicted score and observed graded toxicity score by Pearson’s scale (α = 0.05) was 0.63.

Conclusion The prediction model is easy to use, thus increasing the feasibility of incorporation in daily practice is important. It may enable oncologists to better assess the risk/benefit ratio and to adjust the treatment accordingly.

Publication History

Article published online:
13 August 2021

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