Article by Kaiser Health News, IAdvance Senior Care
“More than 60 percent of cancer patients are older adults — and that will rise to 70 percent by 2040. Yet seniors continue to be underrepresented in clinical trials, making it difficult to assess how treatments are likely to help or harm them.
The newest evidence of the problem comes from a Food and Drug Administration analysis, which found that only 25 percent of patients participating in cancer clinical trials were 65 and older. The analysis, which has not yet been published, was presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting in June.
Clinical trials investigate the safety and effectiveness of new drugs and therapies, as well as ways to prevent illness and detect conditions early. Their discoveries help guide medical practice.
Yet, older adults are often not included in research studies to any significant extent. This is especially true for cancer patients in their 70s and 80s, according to the FDA’s data.”