Affiliation: Division of Medical Oncology A, National Cancer Institute of Aviano, Via Franco Gallini 2, 33081 Aviano (PN), Italy
Life expectancy has impressively increased over the past century and the US population over 65 years is rapidly growing, especially those over 80 years. In fact, persons older than 80 years have increased by more than 250% between the years 1960 and 2000, and it is expected that the population aged >75 years will triple by the year 2030. With the increase of the geriatric population, there is a need for the development and validation of treatment strategies for NHL for these patients. Therapy in elderly patients needs special attention because older patients usually suffered of several co-morbidities and their management represents a challenge for physicians. In fact, older patients treated for lymphoma may not tolerate the high-dose therapies used in younger patients and have increased risk of therapy-related toxicity as a result of age-related physiological changes and frequent co-morbidities. The widespread use of a comprehensive geriatric assessment tool might overcome the difficulty to run prospective clinical trial in elderly patients with lymphoma.