Are Clinical Trials Available to the Older Patient Population?

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Topics include: Treatment and Understanding

Is there a cut-off age to clinical trial participation? How can the older patient population receive innovative treatments? Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) expert Dr. Nicole Lamanna, from Columbia University Medical Center, discusses the importance of representation and eligibility of patient’s over 70 to drive treatment research forward. Dr. Alessandra Ferrajoli, from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, also shares what clinical trial inclusion criteria is typically based on. Watch now to learn more.

Provided by CLL Global Research Foundation, which received support from AbbVie Inc., Gilead Sciences, Inc.,Pharmacyclics LLC and TG Therapeutics. It is produced by Patient Power in collaboration with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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Transcript

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Female Speaker:          

This is for the panel in general. The population seems to be aging more, we’re getting older, we’re living longer. Is there a cutoff time for clinical trials, and what can you do to make your life better and happier, during your waning years? 

Dr. Lamanna:              

That’s a great question. Thankfully, this is one area we’ve certainly made strides on. You know, probably, when I was a pup, before this one...

Dr. Keating:                 

Okay.

Dr. Lamanna:              

...when I first started doing CLL trials…

…we were actually not, we were biased, we were running trials on folks who were really 10 to 15 years younger than the median age of the disease. So, take that for what it’s worth, now, over the last 10 years, 5 to 10 years, really, we’ve really allowed, we’ve been doing trails that are geared to the more appropriate aged population. And, that’s well into the 70s, and so, we have patients on the trials who are in their 80s and 90s. So, I think this is one area that we’ve certainly improved upon. Maybe it’s also getting the word out there, you know, of course, when you were younger, and more willing to drive to places with clinical trials, and you’re fitter, and have the ability to, the skew was probably a little bit of both. It was those who were reading online, and educating themselves were the younger patient population, in general. And so, they would seek folks like us out. But now, thankfully, through education and venues like this, it’s getting that word out.

That hopefully, that really, age shouldn’t be a barrier to clinical trials. And so, certainly, if you’re in good physical condition, regardless of your age, then certainly, you’re eligible for a clinical trial, so it’s a great question. 

Dr. Ferrajoli:               

Yeah, that’s a great question. Most of the clinical trials will be based on your level of fitness, rather than your chronological age.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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Page last updated on September 7, 2018