Vol 8, No 1 (2012)
Review paper
Published online: 2012-03-29

open access

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Toxicities of systemic antineoplastic treatment in elderly cancer patients

Marcin Ekiert
Onkol. Prak. Klin 2012;8(1):7-16.


All methods of antineoplastic systemic treatment are invariably associated with side effects. Elderly cancerpatients are a group of increased risk of complications which can influence treatment efficacy, qualityof life and also preexisting comorbidities. Because toxicities are one of the most frequent reasons oftreatment discontinuation, their risk should be considered. The effective management of cancer requiresindividualization of treatment and efforts to minimize toxicity. Thus, it is essential to screen elderly patientsfor risk factors before initiating treatment, use agents with optimal therapeutic index, modify treatmentschedule and rigorous monitoring of cardiac function. In elderly population effective management oftoxicities associated with antineoplastic treatment with appropriate supportive care is crucial.

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