Chemotherapy in the elderly: pharmacologic considerations. Academic Article uri icon



  • BACKGROUND: The aging of the population has focused interest on the care of elderly cancer patients. A better understanding of the effects of chemotherapeutic agents on older patients with cancer will help to determine the appropriate use of chemotherapy for this age group. METHODS: The authors review recent studies and present pharmacokinetic data on several chemotherapeutic agents, particularly those that have recently become available. RESULTS: Agents such as gemcitabine, vinorelbine, the taxanes, anthracyclines, platinum compounds, topoisomerase I and II inhibitors, and the oral fluoropyrimidines appear to have a beneficial therapeutic index in elderly patients. CONCLUSIONS: Careful attention to the physiologic changes associated with aging, along with dose adjustments for end-organ dysfunction (eg, renal and hepatic), is necessary to ensure the safe administration of antitumor chemotherapy to the elderly.

publication date

  • November 1, 2000



  • Aging
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Neoplasms


Scopus Document Identifier

  • 0033652687

PubMed ID

  • 11088063

Additional Document Info


  • 7


  • 6