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July 2016

The Age Factor in the Treatment of Glioblastoma

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Neuro-Oncology, Department of Neurology, Vanderbilt University Medical School, Nashville, Tennessee
  • 2Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, Tennessee
JAMA Neurol. 2016;73(7):783-784. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.1331

The world’s population is aging and rapidly increasing; it is estimated to reach 9.4 billion in 2050, with 1.5 billion people older than 65 years.1 In parallel to an aging population, cancer incidence is expected to rise, and in 2035 it is estimated that 70% of diagnosed cancers in the United States will occur in patients older than 65 years.2 It is logical to assume that this trend will also occur in the primary brain tumor, glioblastoma (GBM). This presents a problem for neuro-oncologists because older patients have been historically underrepresented in neuro-oncology trials. The lack of representation coupled with toxicity concerns often leads to undertreatment in these patients. Given the imminent increasing numbers of elderly patients with GBM, more representation in clinical studies, as well as clear treatment guidelines, is needed for this population.

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