The number of older patients with cancer and surviving cancer is rapidly growing because the U.S. population is aging with a projected doubling in the number of patients 65 and older by 2030. Although the majority of cancers occur in older adults, these patients have been under-represented in national cancer clinical trials, which set the standards for oncology care. Few studies have specifically focused on the unique issues which face older adults such as the impact of age related declines in physiology, polypharmacy or comorbid medical conditions on treatment tolerance.
Arti Hurria, M.D. leads City of Hope's Cancer and Aging Research Program, the mission of which is to join investigators from all cancer disciplines to study biology, treatment and survivorship issues that face older adults with cancer. The results of this research will be applicable to the majority of patients with cancer because approximately 60 percent of cancer diagnoses and 70 percent of cancer mortality occur in patients over the age of 65.
In addition, Hurria established the Cancer and Aging Research Group in order to further research in geriatric oncology. This group is comprised of physicians and researchers across the country who collaborate in many different clinical trials benefiting older adults.