An evaluation of elderly patients (®70years old) enrolled in Phase I clinical trials at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio-Cancer Therapy Research Center from 2009 to 2011

Julie Rowe, Sukeshi Patel, Marcela Mazo-Canola, Alberto Parra, Martin Goros, Joel Michalek, Kevin Kelly, Steve Weitman, Anand Karnad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Objective: Elderly patients with cancer are under-represented in clinical trials, and there is especially scant data on their participation in early-phase trials. In an effort to provide more data, we reviewed our Phase I experience. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of 461 patients enrolled in Phase I clinical trials at the Cancer Therapy Research Center (CTRC) from 2009 to 2011 to determine the rate of completion of at least 12. weeks of treatment, incidence of adverse events, prevalence of co-morbidities, functional status, and survival. Elderly (E) was defined as ®. 70. years; non-elderly (NE) was defined as ≤. 69. years. Results: The elderly represented 15% (69/461) of enrolled patients. The most common malignancies were colon (20%), hematologic (18%), lung (15%), and breast (8%). The median age of E was 72. years (range 70-85, SD 3.15), and 49% of the E was female. Co-morbidities (E vs. NE) include diabetes (28% vs. 23%), hypertension (65% vs. 44%), and chronic kidney disease (91% vs. 48%). Thirty-two percent of E vs. 37% of NE completed at least 12. weeks of treatment. Reasons for not completing in E vs. NE respectively were progression of disease (43% vs. 61%), toxicity (28% vs. 9%), and self-withdrawal (11% vs. 7%). Reasons for not completing the protocol was significantly associated with being elderly (p. = 0.005). There were non-significant differences in toxicity in E vs. NE. Conclusion: Elderly patients have a higher likelihood of not completing trials for reasons including toxicity. This highlights the need for better Phase I trial-designs incorporating ideal geriatric assessment tools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-70
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Geriatric Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014



  • Elderly
  • Geriatric assessment
  • Phase I

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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