Geriatric Oncology at the FDA with ASCO

A day-long conference of FDA officials, academics, and industry representatives gathered to discuss how to improve enrollment of older adults in clinical cancer trials. All tweets can be found at #GeriFDA. General information with #GeriOnc. A high-quality live webcast was also included.

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  1. Rode over to the event with our patient advocate extraordinaire, Beverly Canin -- our 80-something breast cancer survivor. Despite the early start, the luminaries like Arti Hurria (City of Hope) and Harvey Cohen (Duke) gathered early.
  2. Hanging out in advance with Geriatric Oncology Royalty!
  3. The event was kicked off by Janet Woodcock from the FDA, as she explained the longstanding role the regulatory body has played in trying to encourage the enrollment of older adults in clinical trials.
  4. Dr. Hurria kicked off Session 1 by laying groundwork, explaining the approaching demographic shift toward older adults who will have cancer in the near future
  5. But they aren't being enrolled in clinical trials.
  6. And the real issue is -- not age per se which is just a number, but physiological reserve.
  7. What do we need to know about older adults?
  8. Next was @ASCO's Laura Levitt, who outlined the call to action from the recent JCO paper by Hurria, Levitt, Dale, Hurria, et al on actions to be taken.
  9. Much progress has been made already over the years. And recommendations made to guide today's discussion.
  10. Recommendation #2 -- Improve research designs to accomodate older adults.
  11. Recommendation #3, crucial to today's meeting at the FDA -- Increase the FDA authority to incentivize research.
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