By Keren Moss, M.D., Senior Vice President, Oncology & Hematology, Syneos Health and Laura Vidal, M.D., Senior Medical Director, Oncology & Hematology, Syneos Health
Older adults are underrepresented in clinical trials, and trials designed specifically for older adults are rare – a situation that is particularly concerning in oncology, as more than 60 percent of cancers in the U.S. are found in patients 65 and older. Thus, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Research Committee has been advocating for an improvement in the evidence base for treating the elderly population since publishing a position statement on the matter in 2015.
Given the importance of this initiative, Syneos Health sought to ascertain if studies focusing on elderly cancer patients are at increased risk for discontinuation due to safety reasons, such as toxicity. To address these questions, we conducted desk research on oncology and hematology studies terminated between January 2, 2002 and December 31, 2017.