Screening Tools Predict Elderly Cancer Patients’ Outcomes

(HealthDay News) – Two geriatric screening tools show effectiveness at predicting functional decline and overall survival (OS) in an older population with cancer, according to a study published online Nov. 25 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Cindy Kenis, RN, from University Hospitals Leuven in Belgium, and colleagues compared two geriatric screening tools (G8 and Flemish version of the Triage Risk Screening Tool [fTRST]) in 937 patients ≥70 years old with a malignant tumor and a new cancer event requiring a treatment decision (October 2009–July 2011). A geriatric assessment was performed, and after two to three months of treatment, functionality was reevaluated.

The researchers found that G8 and fTRST (≥1 cutoff) showed high sensitivity (86.5–91.3%) and moderate negative predictive value (61.3–63.4%) to detect patients with a geriatric risk profile. Functional decline on activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental ADLs was strongly predicted with G8 and fTRST (≥1 cutoff; P<0.001 for both). G8 and fTRST (cutoff of ≥1 and ≥2) were prognostic for overall survival (P<0.001 for all).

“Both geriatric screening tools, G8 and fTRST, are simple and useful instruments in older patients with cancer for identifying patients with a geriatric risk profile and have a strong prognostic value for functional decline and OS,” the authors write.

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