Age cut-off in cancer trials and other stories . . .

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f6574 (Published 07 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6574

Most cancers occur in older people, but many trials of cancer treatments have an age cut-off. This cut-off needs to stop, declares a position statement by three leading oncology research organisations in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (2013, doi:10.1200/JCO.2013.49.6125). “All clinical trials in oncology should be without an upper age limit to allow entry of eligible older adults.” And doctors need much better information to allow proper decision making with their older patients with cancer: “regulatory organizations such as the European Medicines Agency and US Food and Drug Administration should require adequate collection of data on efficacy and toxicity of new drugs in fit and frail elderly subpopulations.”

One way to improve the patient centredness of research is to involve patients from the start. It’s obviously a good idea, but does it actually make a difference? Sophie Petit-Zeman and Louise Locock discuss this question in an article in Nature (2013, doi:10.1038/501160a), with a splendid cartoon by Chris Ryan of an endless …

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