Comprehensive Geriatric Oncology

James Metz, MD
Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Editors: Lodovico Balducci, MD, Gary H. Lyman, MD, and William B. Ershler, MD
Publisher: Harwood Academic Publishers
ISBN: 90-5702-225-7
OncoLink Rating: 1 Star

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Comprehensive Geriatric Oncology is a textbook that is directed primarily to the oncologist who is interested with issues relating to the treatment of the elderly cancer patient. The text assumes the reader has a strong background in oncology. It is a good reference for those that have an interest in topics unique to a geriatric cancer population.

Lodovico Balducci, MD and Gary H. Lyman, MD are physicians at the H. Lee Moffit Cancer Center and Research Institute and William B. Ershler, MD is on staff at the Gerontology Research Center at the National Institute on Aging. The authors have written this book with the goal of helping physicians deliver the best possible cancer care to older patients. The authors promote the prevention of cancer in the elderly throughout the text.

This is a large text that is divided into a number of sections including the epidemiology of cancer in the elderly, biology of aging and cancer, rehabilitation and supportive care, and treatment of some of the most common cancers. The section concerning the management of cancer in older persons is very well written. It includes chapters addressing specific antineoplastic therapies and their effects on an older patient population. There is also a discussion of the prevention of some of these toxicities. A specific section also deals with the influence of aging on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.

Scientific data specifically addressing the elderly cancer patient is included when available. As the authors note, many scientific studies have excluded the elderly from clinical trials, thus recommendations for treatment are usually based on younger patients. The authors strongly encourage the expansion of clinical research in the elderly population.

Graphs, diagrams, and tables are used effectively throughout the text. The book is well written and complete. Comprehensive Geriatric Oncology is a good reference for the oncologist and recommended by OncoLink.