Concurrent chemoradiotherapy in older adults with squamous cell head & neck cancer: Evidence and management

Vivek Verma, Apar Kishor Ganti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: Treatment for head and neck cancers incurs substantial associated morbidities, which can be of potentially greater significance in older patients. Though the geriatric population forms a substantial portion of patients with head and neck cancers, this group remains underrepresented in large clinical trials. Hence, management for this unique subpopulation remains empiric and mostly based on data from younger patients. Materials and Methods: Review of key publications on geriatric patients treated for head and neck cancers. Conclusions: We discuss data regarding chemoradiation for head and neck cancers, as well as management of associated side effects in this population. We encourage oncologists to treat older patients not as a homogeneous subpopulation, but rather assess several factors associated with potential tolerance to chemoradiotherapy. Aggressive supportive treatments for chemoradiotherapy toxicities are highly encouraged in this population, and with new technical/technological developments, there is potential to continually reduce toxicity in this cohort in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geriatric Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Chemotherapy
  • Geriatrics
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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