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1.  Postradiation Osteosarcoma in an Older Prostate Cancer Survivor: Case Study and Literature Review with Emphasis on Geriatric Principles 
Case Reports in Oncology  2013;6(2):250-255.
The aging population and the increasing number of cancer survivors will likely be associated with more second primary malignancies due to prior cancer treatment. Since the incidence of most cancers increases with age, these treatment-associated second malignancies will likely disproportionately impact older adults. Here, we present the case of a 78-year-old man with a history of localized prostate cancer treated with external beam radiation therapy 11 years prior, who developed osteosarcoma of the ilium. Geriatric screening showed a fit older male with few comorbidities, functional independence and no other geriatric syndromes. Given the patient's preference for a limb-sparing operation, neoadjuvant chemotherapy was undertaken. With the paucity of clinical trial data on osteosarcoma in older adults, the patient was given a regimen of carboplatin (substituted for cisplatin), doxorubicin and methotrexate. Unfortunately, he developed methotrexate-induced acute kidney injury. Chemotherapy was discontinued, and he proceeded to hemipelvectomy. His postoperative course was marked by numerous complications, including delirium, depression and recurrent hospitalizations. He ultimately developed a local recurrence and elected for hospice care. This case highlights the challenges of managing older adults with treatment-associated malignancies. Clinicians face a lack of clinical trial data from which to extrapolate limitations of therapeutic options because of prior therapy and a limited ability to precisely predict which elders will experience adverse outcomes. Better approaches are needed to help older patients make decisions which fulfill their goals of care and to improve the care of older adults with treatment-associated malignancies.
PMCID: PMC3670646  PMID: 23741219
Osteosarcoma; Prostate cancer; Radiation therapy; Chemotherapy; Geriatrics; Elderly; Comorbidities; Comprehensive geriatric assessment
2.  Falls and Physical Performance Deficits in Older Patients With Prostate Cancer Undergoing Androgen Deprivation Therapy 
Urology  2008;72(2):422-427.
Men experience a decrease in lean muscle mass and strength during the first year of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). The prevalence of falls and physical and functional impairment in this population have not been well described.
A total of 50 men aged 70 years and older (median 78) receiving ADT for systemic prostate cancer (80% biochemical recurrence) underwent functional and physical assessments. The functional assessments included Katz’s Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Lawton’s Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs). Patients completed the Vulnerable Elder’s Survey-13, a short screening tool of self-perceived functional and physical performance ability. Physical performance was assessed using the Short Physical Performance Battery. The history of falls was recorded. Of the 50 patients, 40 underwent follow-up assessment with the same instruments 3 months after the initial assessment.
Of the 50 men, 24% had impairment in the ADLs, 42% had impairment in the IADLs, 56% had abnormal Short Physical Performance Battery findings, and 22% reported falls within the previous 3 months. Within the Short Physical Performance Battery, deficits occurred within all subcomponents (balance, walking, and chair stands). On univariate analysis, age, deficits in ADLs and IADLs, and abnormal cognitive and functional screen findings were associated with an increased risk of abnormal physical performance. ADL deficits, the use of an assistive device, and abnormal functional screen findings were associated with an increased risk of falling.
The results of our study have shown that older men with prostate cancer receiving long-term ADT exhibit significant functional and physical impairment and are at risk of falls that is greater than that for similar-aged cohorts. Careful assessment of the functional and physical deficits in older patients receiving ADT is warranted.
PMCID: PMC3032402  PMID: 18561991
3.  Cognitive effects of androgen deprivation therapy in an older cohort of men with prostate cancer 
To determine the baseline prevalence of cognitive impairment in older men treated with ADT and to assess changes in cognitive performance over time.
Methods and results
Thirty-two patients (median age of 71 years, range 51–87) were administrated an extensive neuropsychological testing battery prior to ADT initiation, with 21 (65%) completing post-treatment evaluations 6 months later. At baseline, 45% scored >1.5 standard deviations below the mean on ≥2 neuropsychological measures. Using standardized inferential statistics, no change in cognition was documented following treatment. The Reliable Change Index revealed that, on a case-by-case basis, 38% demonstrated a decline in measures of executive functioning and 48% showed improvement on measures of visuospatial abilities. Within exploratory analyses, patients who scored below expectation at baseline displayed no change in cognition, while patients with average or better scores at baseline displayed improvements in visuospatial planning and timed tests of phonemic fluency.
We found a high prevalence of lower than expected cognitive performance among a sample of patients just starting ADT for prostate cancer. Assessment of baseline cognitive function should be taken into account for future research and to inform clinical management.
PMCID: PMC3028591  PMID: 20656210
Cognition; Androgen deprivation; Prostate; Elderly
4.  Association of a Cancer Diagnosis With Vulnerability and Frailty in Older Medicare Beneficiaries 
Few studies have evaluated the independent effect of a cancer diagnosis on vulnerability and frailty, which have been associated with adverse health outcomes in older adults.
We used data in the 2003 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey from a nationally representative sample of 12 480 community-dwelling elders. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to evaluate whether cancer was independently associated with vulnerability and frailty. Measures of vulnerability and frailty included disability, geriatric syndromes, self-rated health, and scores on two assessment tools for elderly cancer patients—the Vulnerable Elders Survey-13 (VES-13) and the Balducci frailty criteria. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Diagnosis of a non-skin cancer was reported by 18.8% of the respondents. Compared with respondents without a cancer history, respondents with a personal history of cancer had a statistically significantly higher prevalence of limitations in activities of daily living (31.9% vs 26.9%), limitations in instrumental activities of daily living (49.5% vs 42.3%), geriatric syndromes (60.8% vs 53.9%), low self-rated health (27.4% vs 20.9%), score of 3 or higher on the VES-13 (45.8% vs 39.5%), and satisfying criteria for frailty as defined by Balducci (79.6% vs 73.4%) (P < .001 for all characteristics). After adjustment for confounders, a cancer diagnosis was found to be associated with low self-rated health (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.46, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.30 to 1.64; relative risk [RR] = 1.33), limitations in activities of daily living (adjusted OR = 1.19, 95% CI = 1.06 to 1.33; RR = 1.13), limitations in instrumental activities of daily living (adjusted OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.13 to 1.38; RR = 1.13), a geriatric syndrome (adjusted OR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.15 to 1.41; RR = 1.11), VES-13 score of 3 or higher (adjusted OR = 1.26, 95% CI = 1.13 to 1.41; RR = 1.14), and frailty (adjusted OR = 1.46, 95% CI = 1.29 to 1.65; RR = 1.09) as defined by Balducci criteria.
Diagnosis of a non-skin cancer was associated with increased levels of having disability, having geriatric syndromes, and meeting criteria for vulnerability and frailty.
PMCID: PMC3937788  PMID: 19638506

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