Article

Potential drug-drug interactions and risk of unplanned hospitalization in older patients with cancer: A survey of the prospective ELCAPA (ELderly CAncer PAtients) cohort

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Abstract

Background Because of comorbidities and polypharmacy, older patients with cancer have a greater risk of iatrogenic events. We aimed to characterize potential drug-drug interactions (PDIs) and the risk of unplanned hospitalization in older patients with cancer treated with antineoplastic agents (ANAs). Methods We analyzed all older patients (≥70 years) from the prospective ELCAPA cohort referred for geriatric assessment (2007–2014) prior to treatment with ANA at Henri Mondor Hospital (Créteil, France). PDIs were identified using Lexicomp®, and Theriaque® for French medications. Factors associated with PDIs, and association between PDIs and unplanned hospitalization in the 6 months following geriatric assessment were analyzed using ordered multivariate logistic regression (MLR). Results We included 442 patients (median [interquartile range] age: 77 years [74–80]); number of medications/patient/day: 6 [3–8]); ECOG-PS ≤ 2: 79%; metastasis: 70%). Most patients had a digestive tract cancer (colorectal: 22%; upper digestive tract: 23%). We identified 1742 PDIs; 76.5% of patients had ≥1 PDI; 13% of the PDIs involved an ANA. In a multivariate analysis, cardiovascular disorders (ischemic heart disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation and/or arterial hypertension) were independently associated with PDIs (p < .001, after adjustment for polypharmacy and tumor site/stage). A high number of PDIs between two daily medications was independently associated with the risk of unplanned hospitalization (adjusted-odds ratio [95% confidence interval] per PDI: 1.05 [1.00;1.11], p = .05), while polypharmacy was not. Conclusion Patients with cardiovascular comorbidities were more likely to have a PDI. A higher number of PDIs may be an independent risk factor for early unplanned hospitalization.

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... In brief, categories of suboptimal medication use can include potentially inappropriate medication use (no indication or need for drug therapy, safer alternative available), medication under-treatment (untreated medical conditions), suboptimal drug dosing (too high or low), and medication non-adherence. Most studies aimed at evaluating polypharmacy in older adults with cancer have focused on single categories, such as number of medications, inappropriate polypharmacy, or drug-drug interactions [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][24][25][26][27], without examining the broader categories of suboptimal medication use such as omission of laboratory monitoring for certain medications (e.g., renal function, liver function, serum drug levels if applicable). ...
... regards to drug-drug interactions, significant variability of evidence exists. This variability is likely related to inconsistent study designs and methodologies used for screening/assessing potential interactions (e.g., clinician-led assessment, clinical decision support software) and to heterogeneity across study populations [24][25][26][27]. Research should explore how best to define drug-drug interactions (e.g., moderate, major, clinically significant), including optimal screening tools based on healthcare settings, cancer types, and cancer stages. ...
... Use Most studies that evaluate polypharmacy in older adults with cancer focused on single categories, such as number of medications, inappropriate polypharmacy, or drug-drug interactions [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][24][25][26][27]. Associations between these definitions of suboptimal use and adverse outcomes have been inconsistent [4]. ...
Article
Polypharmacy poses a significant public health problem that disproportionately affects older adults (≥65 years) since this population represents the largest consumers of medications. Clinicians caring for older adults with cancer must rely on evidence to understand polypharmacy and its implications, not only to communicate with patients and other healthcare providers, but also because of the significant interplay between polypharmacy, cancer, cancer-related treatment, and clinical outcomes. Interest in polypharmacy is rising because of its prevalence, the origins and facilitating factors behind it, and the direct and indirect clinical outcomes associated with it. The growing body of publications focused on polypharmacy in older adults with cancer demonstrates that this is a significant area of research; however, limited evidence exists to guide medication use (e.g., prescribing, administration) in this population. Currently, research priorities aimed at polypharmacy in the field of geriatric oncology lack clarity. We identified current gaps in the literature in order to establish research priorities for polypharmacy in older adults with cancer. The five research priorities—Polypharmacy Methodology and Definitions, Suboptimal Medication Use, Comorbidities and Geriatric Syndromes, Underrepresented Groups, and Polypharmacy Interventions—highlight critical areas for future research to improve outcomes for older adults with cancer.
... Most of the studies evaluating the drug interactions dwell on only the clinically relevant part. [9][10][11] Clinically relevant drug 1 Afyonkarahisar Health Sciences University, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey interaction is described as a recommendation for monitoring or modifying the therapy according to Lexicomp® application (Class C, D, and X). Moreover, there is a neglected aspect in previous studies. ...
... The 570 (81%) were taking 5 or more drugs. The median number of prescribed medications (IQR) was 14 (9)(10)(11)(12)(13)(14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19). The median DII (IQR) was 0.130 (0.025-0.210). ...
Article
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Drug interactions with novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) may decrease their advantages. We aimed to explore the drug interaction rates with NOACs and impacts of drug interaction index (DII) on mortality among older patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). In this retrospective cohort study, we enrolled 704 eligible patients aged 65≤ with AF between January 1, 2018 and December 30, 2019 in a tertiary outpatient cardiology clinic. We recorded demographic, clinical characteristics, and medications for the last 3 months. At the end of the evaluation visit (March 1, 2020), death events and dates were recorded. All medications were checked for drug interactions using Lexicomp® software. Each drug interaction was annotated according to risk grade. Moreover, we determined a new index ratio of C/D/X classes to total interactions called DII. The mean age was 75.19 ± 7.13 and 398 (56%) were male. Death events were observed in 106 (15%) patients. A total of 9883 drugs were analyzed for drug interactions. The majority of drug interactions were in class A (80.7%). Clinically relevant interactions were 14.6% (Class C/D/X). The area under receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.704 (95% confidence interval: 0.653-0.754) and 0.167 cutoff value (68.9% sensitivity and 80.2% specificity [3.11 positive likelihood ratio]) for DII to predict mortality. This study showed an overview of the NOACs interactions in older patients with AF. Additionally, the inappropriate NOAC dose and DII showed an association with mortality. NOAC treatment should be guided by drug interaction applications to reduce mortality.
... The contributing risk factors for DDIs in oncology patients include genetics, poly pharmacy, long hospitalizations, comorbid conditions such as cardiac, renal or hepatic complications and advanced age [11,12]. Another important therapeutic challenge is tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) mediated OATP1B1 or OATP1B3 inhibition that potentially cause DDIs influencing drug pharmacokinetic feature [13]. ...
Article
Background: When a patient concomitantly uses two or more drugs, a drug-drug interaction (DDI) may occur, and patients with cancer are at high risk of DDIs because they commonly receive multiple medications. However, data on the prevalence of DDIs are scarce, especially in Saudi Arabia. Objective: Our aim was to evaluate the occurrence of DDIs in patients with cancer and identify risk factors for these DDIs and the clinical outcomes. Method: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted in KFMC. Data were collected from the medical records and phone calls, and the patient's drugs were screened for interactions using Micromedex and Lexi-Comp. The data were statistically analysed using IBM SPSS version 24 statistical program. Results: In 72 patients (mean age of 47 years; 11 medications), the prevalence of DDIs was 60 %, and 2 potential DDIs were identified. According to Lexi-Comp, 137 (51.8 %) were categorized as pharmacodynamics interactions. In Micromedex, 94 potential DDIs were identified, 68.1 % were categorized as pharmacokinetic interactions, the comparison between the interaction of Lexi-Comp and Micromedex for 9 drugs. Eight drug pairs showed statistically significant difference in category of interaction (P < 0.05). Six pair of drugs showed statistically significant difference in mechanism of action (p < 0.05). Number of drugs was reported as significant risk factor (p = 0.007), type of treatment such as chemotherapy (p = 0.0000) and inpatient admission in terms of length of stay in hospital was also found significant risk factor (p = 0.031). Conclusion: To prevent DDIs, Physicians and pharmacists should be more aware of these potential interactions to prevent DDIs.
... The main reason is that decreased physiological reserves with age results in pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic alterations. Conceivably, pervasive use of medications combined with elevated vulnerability to drug effects will exacerbate the likelihood of DDIs exposure (Beinse et al., 2020). ...
Article
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Introduction: Polypharmacy are commonly observed among older adults with cardiovascular disease. However, multiple medications lead to increased risk of drug-drug interactions (DDIs). Therefore, identification and prevention actions related to harmful DDIs are expected in older adults. The study aimed to describe the prevalence of potential DDIs (pDDIs) in discharge prescriptions among older adults with chronic coronary syndrome (CCS). Methods: A single-center cross-sectional study was performed in a tertiary public hospital in Beijing, China. CCS patients aged 65 years and above who were admitted to cardiology wards over a 3-month period and alive at discharge were included. Electronic medical records and discharge prescriptions were reviewed. pDDIs were evaluated through the Lexi-Interact online. Results: pDDIs were identified in 72.9% of the 402 individuals ( n = 293). A total of 864 pDDIs were obtained. 72.1% of patients were found with C DDIs ( n = 290) and 20.3% were categorized in D and X DDIs ( n = 82). The only X DDI was between cyclosporine and atorvastatin. Under category D, glycemia alterations within antidiabetics and increased chances of bleeding with antithrombotic were the most common. Concomitant use of clopidogrel and calcium channel blockers was a frequent situation within category C, followed by synergic blood pressure lowering agents and increased rosuvastatin concentration induced by clopidogrel. Conclusion: DDIs exposure was common in older CCS. DDIs screening tools should be introduced to alert potential adverse effects. Prescribers need to rigorously review or modulate therapies to prevent DDI-related adverse outcomes. Clinical pharmacists should be more involved in complex drug regimen management.
... Nearly 5% of patients were taking medication combinations that are contraindicated, and a similar number were taking a medication that could interact with their chemotherapy regimen. These results are similar to the percentages seen in both the ELCAPA cohort of 442 patients ≥70 years starting antineoplastic therapy in France, 36 as well as similar cohorts in the United States (n = 244) 16 and Korea (n = 301). 37 Considering medications interacting as analogous to a social network, the utilization of network analysis and graph theory offers a unique understanding of these data; to our knowledge, this method has not been previously reported to understand medication usage in older adults with cancer, and benchmarks do not yet exist for these types of networks. ...
Article
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Purpose: Polypharmacy is prevalent in older adults starting cancer treatment and associated with potentially inappropriate medications (PIM), potential drug-drug interactions (DDI), and drug-cancer treatment interactions (DCI). For a large cohort of vulnerable older adults with advanced cancer starting treatment, we describe patterns of prescription and nonprescription medication usage, the prevalence of PIM, and the prevalence, severity, and type of DDI/DCI. Methods: This secondary analysis used baseline data from a randomized study enrolling patients aged ≥70 years with advanced cancer starting a new systemic cancer treatment (University of Rochester Cancer Center [URCC] 13059; PI: Mohile). PIM were categorized using 2019 Beers criteria and Screening Tool of Older Persons' Prescriptions. Potential DDI/DCI were evaluated using Lexi-Interact Online. Medication classification followed the World Health Organization Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical system. Bivariate associations were evaluated between sociodemographic and geriatric assessment (GA) measures and medication measures. Chord diagrams and network analysis were used to understand and describe DDI/DCI. Results: Among 718 patients (mean age 77.6 years), polypharmacy (≥5 medications), excessive polypharmacy (≥10 medications), and ≥1 PIM were identified in 61.3%,14.5%, and 67.1%, respectively. Cardiovascular medications were the most prevalent (47%), and nonprescription medications accounted for 26% of total medications and 40% of PIM. One-quarter of patients had ≥1 potential major DDI not involving cancer treatment, and 5.4% had ≥1 potential major DCI. Each additional medication increased the odds of a potential major DDI and DCI by 39% and 12%, respectively. Polypharmacy and PIM are associated with multiple GA domains. Conclusion: In a cohort of vulnerable older adults with advanced cancer starting treatment, polypharmacy, PIM, and potential DDI/DCI are very common. Nonprescription medications are frequently PIMs and/or involved in potential DDI/DCI.
... The addition of non-prescription medication, antineoplastic agents, and supportive care agents (like antiemetics) will increase this number significantly. Polypharmacy results in high risk of potential drug-drug interactions that may have major implications for older patients with cancer, such as an increased risk of unplanned hospitalization [39]; consequently, antiemetics with a low risk of drug-drug interactions should be preferred in older patients with cancer. ...
Article
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) are still two of the most feared side effects of cancer therapy. Although major progress in the prophylaxis of CINV has been made during the past 40 years, nausea in particular remains a significant problem. Older patients have a lower risk of CINV than younger patients, but are at a higher risk of severe consequences of dehydration and electrolyte disturbances following emesis. Age-related organ deficiencies, comorbidities, polypharmacy, risk of drug–drug interactions, and lack of compliance all need to be addressed in the older patient with cancer at risk of CINV. Guidelines provide evidence-based recommendations for the prophylaxis of CINV, but none of these guidelines offer specific recommendations for older patients with cancer. This means that the recommendations may lead to overtreatment in some older patients. This review describes the development of antiemetic prophylaxis of CINV focusing on older patients, summarizes recommendations from antiemetic guidelines, describes deficiencies in our knowledge of older patients, summarizes necessary precautions, and suggests some future perspectives for antiemetic research in older patients.
... A Most of the studies evaluating drug interactions with the Lexicomp® application focus only on the clinically relevant part (C, D, X). [9][10][11] Classes A and B have not usually been considered by previous researchers. We believe that the drug interaction intensity could be substantial, and this term also includes the drug number and clinically relevant drug interactions together. ...
Article
Objective: Hypertension is a challenging problem in the older population because of poor drug adherence (DA). We aimed to determine the DA and examine the drug interaction index (DII) on DA in older patients with hypertension. Methods: In this cross-sectional, observational study, we enrolled 418 eligible patients aged ≥ 65 years between 1 February 2020 and 30 September 2020 in a tertiary hospital outpatient cardiology clinic. We prepared a questionnaire to record sociodemographic characteristics, morbidities, and drugs used by the population. The Morisky Medication Adherence Scale-8 (MMAS-8) was used for DA assessment. We identified drug interactions using the Lexicomp application. We calculated the DII from a ratio of clinically relevant interaction to total interaction. Descriptive tests and multiple linear regression analyses were performed to find independent factors on DA. Results: The mean age (± standard deviation [SD]) was 72.91 (±6.47), and 272/146 were female/male in the study population. The most frequent comorbid disease was diabetes mellitus (23.5%). The percentage of patients having polypharmacy was 39.5, and the mean daily drug (±SD) use was 4.27 (±2.57). The most prescribed antihypertensive drugs were thiazide/derivates (29.8%) and angiotensin receptor blockers (24.8%). The mean MMAS-8 (±SD) was 4.55±0.98, and 321 (76.8%) participants had a poor DA. A total of 33.4% of patients had significant drug interaction. The mean DII (±SD) was 0.345±0.017. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve for DII was 0.616 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.547-0.686). Conclusion: We defined a new index for drug interaction intensity. Furthermore, the DII may be a useful tool to study aspects of DA in older patients with hypertension.
... In a previous work, we observed a potential DDI with abiraterone in 52% of 95 prostate cancer patients, but their median age was 77 years [68-82] with a median number of 7 drugs [30]. In the present study, sarcoma patients had a median age of 50 years with a median of 3 drugs per patient, which together could contribute to a lower risk of DDI than in elderly cancer patients [31]. A limitation of this study is the use of a single DDI database, Micromedex. ...
Article
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Background The risk of drug–drug interactions (DDI) has become a major issue in cancer patients. However, data in sarcoma patients are scarce. We aimed to evaluate the frequency and the factors associated with DDI with antitumor treatments, and to evaluate the impact of a pharmacist evaluation before anticancer treatment.Patients and methodsWe performed a retrospective review of consecutive sarcoma patients starting chemotherapy (CT) or Tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). A pharmacist performed medication reconciliation and established an early toxicity risk assessment. Potential DDI with antitumor drugs were identified using Micromedex electronic software.ResultsOne hundred and twenty-two soft-tissue and 80 bone sarcoma patients (103 males, median age 50 years,) were included before CT (86%) or TKI (14%). The median number of medications was 3; 34 patients (22% of patients with medication reconciliation) reported complementary medicine use. 37 potential DDI classified as major, were identified (12% of the 243 pre-therapeutic assessments). In multivariate analysis, TKI (p < 0.0001), proton pump inhibitor (p = 0.026) and antidepressant (p < 0.001) were identified as risk factors of DDI (p < 0.02). Only marital status (p = 0.003) was associated with complementary medicine use. A pharmacist performed 157 medication reconciliations and made 71 interventions among 59 patients (37%). In multivariate analysis, factors associated with pharmacist intervention were: complementary medicines (p = 0.004), drugs number (p = 0.005) and treatment with TKI (p = 0.0002)Conclusions Clinical interventions on DDI are more frequently required among sarcoma patients treated with TKI than CT. Multidisciplinary risk assessment including a medication reconciliation by a pharmacist could be crucial to prevent DDI with TKI.
... For herbal medicines, analysis of potential HDIs was conducted using the Hédrine ® interaction software program and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) interactions database (Hedrine 2019; Integrative Medicine 2019). These databases were selected because of their open access and widespread use in international studies (Beinse et al. 2020;Hacin et al. 2013;Bossaer and Thomas 2017;Marcath et al. 2018). ...
Article
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PurposeDue to polypharmacy and the rising popularity of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), oncology patients are particularly at risk of drug–drug interactions (DDI) or herb–drug interactions (HDI). The aims of this study were to assess DDI and HDI in outpatients taking oral anticancer drug.Method All prescribed and non-prescribed medications, including CAM, were prospectively collected by hospital pharmacists during a structured interview with the patient. DDI and HDI were analyzed using four interaction software programs: Thériaque®, Drugs.com®, Hédrine, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) database. All detected interactions were characterized by severity, risk and action mechanism. The need for pharmaceutical intervention to modify drug use was determined on a case-by-case basis.Results294 patients were included, with a mean age of 67 years [55–79]. The median number of chronic drugs per patient was 8 [1–29] and 55% of patients used at least one CAM. At least 1 interaction was found for 267 patients (90.8%): 263 (89.4%) with DDI, 68 (23.1%) with HDI, and 64 (21.7%) with both DDI and HDI. Only 13% of the DDI were found in Thériaque® and Drugs.com® databases, and 125 (2.5%) were reported with similar level of risk on both databases. 104 HDI were identified with only 9.5% of the interactions found in both databases. 103 pharmaceutical interventions were performed, involving 61 patients (20.7%).Conclusion Potentially clinically relevant drug interaction were frequently identified in this study, showing that several databases and structured screening are required to detect more interactions and optimize medication safety.
... 25 Polypharmacy may increase risk of hospitalization during chemotherapy because of increased risk of drug-drug interaction or as a surrogate measure for the burden of multiple chronic conditions. For example, Beinse et al 26 evaluated the association between potential drug-drug interactions and risk of unplanned hospitalization among 442 older adults with cancer. In this study, the median number of daily medications was six (consistent with other reports in the literature) 27 and almost 77% had a potential drug interaction recorded. ...
Article
PURPOSE Hospitalizations during cancer treatment are costly, can impair quality of life, and negatively affect therapy completion. Our objective was to identify risk factors for unplanned hospitalization among older adults receiving chemotherapy. METHODS This is a secondary analysis of a multisite cohort study (N = 750) of patients ≥ 65 years of age evaluated with a geriatric assessment (GA) to predict chemotherapy toxicity. The primary outcome of this analysis was unplanned hospitalizations during treatment; the secondary outcome was length of stay (LOS) of the first hospitalization. Independent variables included pretreatment GA measures, laboratory values, cancer type and stage, and treatment intensity characteristics. We used logistic regression to estimate the odds of hospitalization and generalized linear models for LOS in multivariable analyses. RESULTS The sample median age was 72 years (range, 65-94 years); 59% had stage IV disease. At least one unplanned hospitalization occurred in 193 patients (25.7%) during receipt of chemotherapy. In multivariable analyses controlling for cancer type, the following baseline characteristics were significantly associated with increased odds of hospitalization: needing help bathing or dressing (odds ratio [OR], 1.8; 95% CI, 1.0 to 3.1), polypharmacy (≥ 5 meds) (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1 to 2.4), more comorbid conditions (OR, 1.1; 95% CI, 1.0 to 1.3), availability of someone to take them to the doctor (OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.0 to 4.1), CrCl < 60 mL/min (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.1 to 2.4), and albumin < 3.5 g/dL (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.2 to 2.8). In multivariable analyses, older age, self-reported presence of liver or kidney disease, living alone and depressive symptoms were associated with longer LOS. CONCLUSION Readily available GA variables and laboratory data, but not age, were associated with unplanned hospitalizations among older adults receiving chemotherapy. If validated, these data can inform prediction models and the design of interventions to decrease unplanned hospitalizations.
... In a previous work, we observed a potential DDI with abiraterone in 52 % of 95 prostate cancer patients, but their median age was 77 years [68-82] with a median number of 7 drugs(28). In the present study, sarcoma patients had a median age of 50 years with a median of 3 drugs per patient, which together could contribute to a lower risk of DDI than in elderly cancer patients (29) As far as we know, we identi ed for the rst time baseline factors associated with DDI in sarcoma patients. The type of antitumor protocol seems primordial since patients treated with TKI were at higher risk to present a major DDI (p < 0.001). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: The risk of drug drug interactions (DDI) has become a major issue in cancer patient care. However, data in sarcoma patients are scarce. We aimed to evaluate the frequency of DDI with antitumor treatments, identify the risk factors for DDI and evaluate the impact of a pharmacist evaluation before anticancer treatment. Patients and Methods: We performed a retrospective review of consecutive sarcoma patients starting chemotherapy (CT) or Tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). A pharmacist performed medication reconciliation and established an early toxicity risk assessment. Potential DDI with antitumor drugs were identified using Micromedex electronic software. Results: One hundred twenty-two soft-tissue and 80 bone sarcoma patients (103 males, median age 50 years,) were included before chemotherapy (86%) or tyrosine kinase inhibitor (14%). The median number of medications was 3; 34 patients (22% of patients with medication reconciliation) reported complementary medicine use. 37 potential DDI classified as major, were identified (12% of the 243 pre-therapeutic assessments). In multivariate analysis, TKI (p<0.0001), proton pump inhibitor (p=0.026) and antidepressant (p<0.001) were identified as risk factors of DDI (p<0.02). Marital status (p=0.003) was the single factor associated with complementary medicine use. A pharmacist performed 157 medication reconciliation and made 71 interventions among 59 patients (37%). In multivariate analysis, factors associated with pharmacist intervention were: complementary medicines (p= 0.004), drugs number (p=0.005) and treatment with TKI (p=0.0002) Conclusions: Clinical interventions on DDI are more frequently required among sarcoma patients treated with TKI than CT. Multidisciplinary risk assessment including a medication reconciliation by a pharmacist could be crucial to prevent DDI with TKI.
... 9,10 Recent studies have shown that major DDI are very prevalent in older adults with cancer and are a risk factor for early and unplanned hospitalizations. 11,12 In this particular context, the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) recently recommended establishing close cooperation with pharmacists as part of the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) 13 in order to review prescriptions of older patients with cancer and avoid adverse side effects of treatment. 14 This pharmaceutical intervention is called comprehensive medication reconciliation (CMR) 15,16 and the clinical pharmacist is fully integrated into the multidisciplinary team. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Polymorbidity induces polypharmacy in older patients may lead to potential drug-drug interactions (DDI) which can modify the tolerance and safety of oncological treatments and alter the intended therapeutic effect. The objective of our study was to describe the decision-making process for oncological treatment and related outcomes, in a population of older adults undergoing a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) associated to a comprehensive medication reconciliation (CMR) prior to initiating oncological treatment. Methods: ChimioAge is a prospective observational study conducted between 01/2017 and 07/2018 at Marseille University Hospital and approved by the French National Ethics Committee. It comprised all consecutive patients aged 70 years and over who were referred for a CGA as part of CMR, before initiating systemic treatment. Results: One hundred and seventy-one cancer patients were included. Mean age was 79.2 years, over half had metastatic cancers, 75% had an ECOG performance status zero or one, and two-thirds were independent in daily activities. Two-thirds of the patients had polypharmacy and the CMR identified potential DDI with systemic treatment in 43.3% of patients. Following the CGA, the CMR and the hospital oncologists decision, 30% of the patients received adapted systemic treatment with reduced doses at initiation. They presented fewer toxicities - irrespective of grade and type - than patients who received standard treatment (p<0.001) and had comparable overall survival (Log rank p=0.21). Conclusion: This is one of the first studies to highlight the value in conducting CMR and a CGA simultaneously before initiating systemic treatment in older patients with cancer. These two evaluations could give oncologists decisive information to personalize cancer treatment of older patients and optimize treatment dose to offer the best efficacy and minimize toxicity.
... interactions are highly prevalent in older adults on chemotherapy (in particular with comorbid conditions) and are a risk factor for early unplanned hospitalizations. 42,43 CGA interventions are associated with improved chemotherapy tolerance in older patients with cancer. 44 Conversely, without a CGA before initiation of treatment, geriatric factors are often the primary cause of chemotherapy discontinuation or mortality, irrespective of the type of tumor. ...
Article
Background Lung cancer affects older adults and is the leading solid tumor in terms of death. Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) is recommended before cancer treatment to guide therapy management. Methods This study was conducted between September 2015 and January 2019. During this period of time, all consecutive older outpatients referred for a CGA before initiation of lung or thoracic tumor treatment were included. The objectives were to describe the impact of geriatric factors on unplanned hospitalizations and overall survival (OS). The study was approved by a local ethics committee. Findings Overall, 228 patients were recruited. The median age was 78.7 ± 5 years. The majority of patients were diagnosed with non-small-cell lung cancer (82%) and the most common treatment was systemic therapy (40.4%). In multivariate analysis, factors associated with unplanned hospitalizations within the first 3 months were male gender (aOR 3.3; 95% CI [1.5-7.2]), systemic therapy (aOR 2.6; 95% CI [1.1-6.2]), and fall history (aOR 3.6; 95% CI [1.6-8.2]). Factors associated with a decrease in OS in the multivariate Cox model analysis were male gender (HR 3.9; 95% CI [2.1-7.3]), stage IV (HR 1.6; 95% CI [1.0-2.6]), G8 ≤ 14 (HR 3.5; 95% CI [1.1-11.4]), systemic therapy (HR 2.6; 95% CI [1.2-5.5]), ECOG-PS≥2 (HR 2.0; 95% CI; [1.2-3.4]), impaired handgrip strength (HR 1.6; 95% CI; [1.0-2.5]). Interpretation G8 score and handgrip strength are important to predict overall survival in older adults treated for thoracic tumor. In the GCA, fall history was associated with unplanned hospitalization.
... In terms of altered organ functions, one of the outcomes of comorbidities is changed drug excretion, which also contributes to pDDIs. In their investigation, Beinse et al. 20 found that patients with cardiovascular comorbidities are more likely to have probable pDDIs. According to van Leeuwen et al., 6 hydrochlorothiazide is typically found in the most commonly seen pDDIs. ...
Conference Paper
Background and Objective: Cancer treatment is one the most compelling situation for healthcare providers. The situation itself already complicated enough. In addition, cancer treatment requires multiple medication usage simultaneously. Drug-drug interactions (DDI) compose 20-30% of adverse effects. Drug-drug interactions are responsible 4% of mortality in oncology. Cancer patients are more prone to experience drug-drug interactions, because of taking multiple medications with anticancer agents to reduce or prevent the side effects that are caused by chemotherapeutic agents. Since the clinical pharmacists have a key role to prevent DDIs and to enhance the patients’ quality of life, a multidisciplinary approach is an important necessity in cancer care. Setting and Method: Cross-sectional observational study was conducted through interviews with 133 patients. In our study we would like to evaluate DDIs of patient who applied Oncology clinic of Bezmialem Vakif University Istanbul Turkey. This study has been approved by noninvasive Clinical Research Ethics Committee of Bezmialem Vakif University with decision number of 21/286 on 21.112017. Drug-drug interactions were evaluated using three sources: Lexicomp®, Medscape® and Micromedex®. Interaction levels have been taking into consideration were serious-use alternative and monitor closely for Medscape®, Serious-Use Alternative and Major Micromedex® and Category X and D for Lexicomp®. Main outcome measures: Evaluation of DDIs in perspective of number and comparison between different clinical decision support systems. Results: 244 different medicine prescribed 1712 times to 133 patients. According to our results number of DDIs were 265-1472 (1,99-11,07 DDI/patient) for Medscape®, 38-1006 (0,29-7,56 DDI/patient) for Micromedex and for Lexicomp® were 86-532 (1,99-4,00 DDI/patient). Conclusion: This study revealed that DDIs is common problem among oncology patients in hospital settings. When pharmacist making a decision using various software and decision support systems with different level of evidences. This study showed us that trusting one software completely could lead clinician to failure. On the other hand, patients with comorbidities, renal impairment and polypharmacy are more prone to have more DRPs.
Article
Introduction: One of the most intriguing situations for healthcare providers is cancer therapy. Drug–drug interactions (DDIs) account for 20–30% of all adverse effects. Cancer patients are more likely to have potential-DDIs since they are taking other drugs with anticancer treatments to prevent the side effects of chemotherapeutic agents. The purpose of this research is to compare various decision support software (CDSS) programs in terms of potential DDIs. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out. A clinical pharmacist assessed the treatment regimens of 231 cancer patients. pDDIs were evaluated using three sources: Lexicomp®, Medscape®, and Micromedex®. The ethical approval was given in November 2017 with decision number 21/286. Results: A total of 231 participants who were receiving therapy and had a median age of 61.5 ±9.18 years were assessed. Almost half of the patients (49%) were female, and 155 had at least one comorbidity in addition to cancer. Medscape had a substantial pDDI ratio of 7.09%, Micromedex had a ratio of 11.15%, and Lexicomp had a ratio of 19.50%. The total number of pDDIs for major/X/contraindicated were 363–2716 (1.56–11.7 pDDI/patient) for Medscape®, 60–1723 (0.26–7.4 pDDI/patient) for Micromedex, and 145–984 (0.62–2.24 pDDI/patient) for Lexicomp®. One of the most common pDDI found was diclofenac and dexamethasone. Interactions between escitalopram and granisetron were also common, and different CDSSs made different recommendations. Conclusions: In this study, significant disparities in the quantity and severity of CDSS across distinct CDSS were discovered. One of the major finding of our study was suboptimal prescribing. To address this issue, regulatory organizations should establish and verify validation and reporting mechanisms.
Article
Introduction Adjuvant therapeutic decisions in older endometrial carcinoma (EC) patients are challenged by a balance between more frequent aggressive EC and comorbidities. We assessed whether EC and comorbidities are competing or cumulative risks in older EC patients. Methods All consecutive patients treated for FIGO stage I-IV EC in two University Hospitals in Paris between 2010 and 2017 were retrospectively included. Patients were categorized as: <70 years (y), >70y without comorbidity (fit), and > 70y with a Charlson comorbidity index>3 (comorbid). Association between high-risk EC (2021-ESGO-ETRO-ESP) or comorbidity, and disease-specific-survival (DSS), was evaluated using Cox model (estimation of cause-specific hazard ratio (CSHR), and Fine-Gray model (subdistribution HR) to account for competing events (death unrelated with EC). Results Overall, 253 patients were included (median age = 67y, IQR[59–77], median follow-up = 61.5 months, [44.4–76.8]). Among them, 109 (43%) were categorized at high-risk (proportion independent of age), including 67 (26%) who had TP53-mutated tumors. Comorbidity and high-risk group were both associated with all-cause mortality (HR = 4.09, 95%CI[2.29; 7.32] and HR = 3.21, 95%CI [1.69; 6.09], respectively). By multivariate analysis, patients with high-risk EC exhibited poorer DSS, regardless of age/comorbidity (Adjusted-CSHR = 6.62, 95%CI[2.53;17.3]; adjusted-SHR = 6.62 95%CI[2.50;17.5]). Patients>70y-comorbid with high-risk EC had 5-years cumulative incidences of EC-related and EC-unrelated death of 29% and 19%, respectively. In patients <70y, 5-years cumulative incidence of EC-related and EC-unrelated death were 25% and < 1% (one event), respectively. Conclusion High-risk EC patients are exposed to poorer DSS regardless of age/comorbidities, comorbidities and cancer being two cumulative rather than competing risks. Our results suggest that age/comorbidity alone should not lead to underestimate EC-specific survival.
Article
The aim of this study was to identify the main therapeutic classes prescribed to ovarian cancer patients and the potential drug interactions (PDI) during hospitalization. This descriptive retrospective work was carried out in a referral gynecological cancer hospital from the Brazilian public health system. The first 24 h inpatients’ prescriptions were evaluated to obtain the pharmacological profile data. Clinical and epidemiological characteristics were collected through the analysis of electronic medical records. A total of 236 patients were included in the study, of which 154 (65.25%) had PDI, with a mean of 1.43 ± 1.76 interactions per patient. The main therapeutic classes prescribed were analgesics and antiemetics (35%), compatible with the oncologic supportive care. All PDI identified (n = 331) were categorized by severity, using the Micromedex database, resulting in: 1.51% contraindicated, 67.67% major, 24.77% moderate, and 6.04% minor. The more prevalent PDI were ondansetron/tramadol (22.05%) and metoclopramide/tramadol (7.25%), both major. An association between PDI and polypharmacy was observed, which did not occur between age or length of stay. Ongoing prescription review by the pharmaceutical team is necessary to identify, monitor, and manage PDI-related adverse events and carry out required interventions with patients, physicians, and nurses. Taken together the data showed that even in a specialized hospital, the complexity of the pharmacotherapy can cause harm to the ovarian cancer patient. The clinical pharmacist acting in a multidisciplinary team is important for improving patient safety in oncology services.
Article
Résumé La population des sujets âgés représente près de 60 % des nouveaux diagnostics de cancer. Leur prise en charge, le plus souvent complexe, est un problème de santé publique. L’hétérogénéité du vieillissement rend indispensable une évaluation de l’état global, notamment pour éviter le sur-traitement (ou sous-traitement), et pouvoir repérer les patients âgés fragiles ou vulnérables qui risquent d’avoir plus de toxicités des traitements. À travers cet article, nous rappellerons l’importance de l’évaluation gériatrique approfondie (EGA) en détaillant les différents facteurs qui impactent la décision thérapeutique, la tolérance aux traitements… Cette EGA est cependant chronophage et tous les patients ne peuvent être évalués. Afin d’identifier les sujets relevant de cette EGA, des échelles de screening ont été développées. Nous développerons enfin la place de la recherche dans la prise en charge oncogériatrique.
Article
Background The under-representation of older patients in cancer trials remains an important obstacle to the generation of data on efficacy and safety in this growing patient population. In France, geriatric oncology coordination units (UCOGs) have been created to help oncologists and geriatricians work together on research, best practice, and continuing medical education. Taking these units as a case study, this paper sheds light on the collaboration between geriatricians and oncologists in the inclusion process of older patients in cancer trials. Materials and Methods Empirical data were gathered in a series of sociological interviews with all 16 oncologists, geriatricians and unit coordinators in the five UCOGs in the greater Paris region of France. Results The case of French geriatric oncology coordination units shows the gap between professional research cultures in oncology and geriatrics that may account for the low observed inclusion rates. It is easier to include patients in randomized clinical trials than in observational studies. UCOGs have the potential to improve research in geriatric oncology by catalyzing the development and implementation of effective collaboration tools (such as frailty assessments). The units also have the potential to promote Phase IV trials and observational research that are suitable for older patients with cancer. Discussion Bridging the cultural gap between oncologists (the dominant force in setting the cancer research agenda) and geriatricians (a source of specific knowledge and know-how) is essential for producing relevant trial protocols that match the specific yet diverse features of older patient populations.
Article
Background: The use of herbs and supplements (HS) is common among patients with cancer, yet limited information exists about potential medication interactions (PMIs) with HS use around chemotherapy. Methods: Patients with breast or prostate cancer who had recently finished chemotherapy at 2 academic medical centers were surveyed by telephone. Interviewers inquired about all medications, including HS, before, during, and after chemotherapy. Micromedex, Lexicomp, and Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database interaction software programs were used to determine PMIs. Results: A total of 67 subjects (age range, 39-77 years) were evaluated in this study. Participants were primarily White patients (73%) with breast cancer (87%). The median number of medications was 11 (range, 2-28) during the entire study and was highest during chemotherapy (7; range, 2-22). Approximately four-fifths (84%) used HS. A total of 1747 PMIs were identified, and they represented 635 unique PMIs across all 3 timeframes, with most occurring during chemotherapy. Prescription-related PMIs (70%) were the most common type, and they were followed by HS-related (56%) and anticancer treatment-related PMIs (22%). Approximately half of the PMIs (54%) were categorized as moderate interactions, and more than one-third (38%) were categorized as major interactions. Patient use of HS increased from 51% during chemotherapy to 66% after chemotherapy, and this correlated with an increased prevalence of HS PMIs (46% to 60%). HS users were more likely to be at risk for a major PMI than non-HS users (92% vs 70%; P = .038). Conclusions: The use of HS remains prevalent among patients with cancer and may place them at risk for PMIs both during chemotherapy and after the completion of treatment. Lay summary: This study evaluates the risk of potential medication interactions for patients with breast or prostate cancer undergoing chemotherapy. The results show that patients often use herbs and supplements during treatment. Prescription medications are most often associated with medication interactions, which are followed by herb and supplement-related interactions. More than one-third of potential medication interactions are considered major. Patients should be educated about the risk of herb and supplement-related medication interactions during treatment.
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Objective Drug–drug interactions (DDIs) can cause failure in treatment and adverse events. DDIs screening software is an important tool to aid clinicians in the detection and management of DDIs. However, clinicians should be aware of the advantages and limitations of these programs. We compared the ability of five common DDI programs to detect clinically important DDIs. Methods Lexi-Interact, Micromedex Drug Interactions, iFacts, Medscape, and Epocrates were evaluated. The programs' sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were determined to assess their accuracy in detecting DDIs. The accuracy of each program was identified using 360 unknown pair interactions, taken randomly from prescriptions, and forty pairs of clinically important ones. The major reference was a clinical pharmacist alongside the Stockley's Drug Interaction and databases including PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar. Comprehensiveness of each program was determined by the number of components in the drug interaction monograph. The aggregate score for accuracy and comprehensiveness was calculated. Findings Scoring 250 out of possible 400 points, Lexi-Interact and Epocrates, provided the most accurate software programs. Micromedex, Medscape, and iFacts ranked third, fourth, and fifth, scoring 236, 202, and 191, respectively. In comprehensiveness test, iFacts showed the highest score, 134 out of possible 134 points, whereas Lexi-Interact rated second, with a score of 120. Scoring 370 and 330 out of possible 534 points, Lexi-Interact and Micromedex, respectively, provided the most competent, complete, and user-friendly applications. Conclusion Lexi-Interact and Micromedex showed the best performances. An increase in sensitivity is possible by the combination of more than one programs and expert pharmacist intervention.
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PurposeDue to more comorbidities, polypharmacy is common in elderly patients and drug interactions are inevitable. It is also challenging to treat an elderly patient with a diagnosis of cancer. Prevalence and clinical impacts of drug interactions and using potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) have been studied in geriatric patients. However, these are not well defined in oncology practice. The purpose of this study is to define the prevalence of PIMs and severe drug interactions (SDIs) in elderly cancer patients and investigate the factors associated with them. Methods Patients more than 65 years of age in both inpatient and outpatient clinics were evaluated. Patient, disease characteristics, and medications used were collected by self reports and medical records. Drug interactions were checked with Lexicomp® and PIM was defined with 2012 update of Beers criteria. Severe drug interactions are defined with category D or X DIs. Logistic regression was used to compute odds ratios (ORs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between SDIs, PIMs, and clinical parameters. ResultsFour hundered and forty-five elderly patients (286 outpatient, 159 inpatient), with a median age of 70 (65–89) were evaluated. SDIs were present in 156 (35.1 %) of patients, 81 (28.3 %), and 75 (47.2 %) for outpatient and inpatients, respectively (p < 0.001). PIMs were present in 117 (26.6 %) of the patients, 40 (14.2 %), and 77(48.4 %) for outpatient and inpatients, respectively (p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis; polypharmacy (≥5 drugs), inpatient status and diagnosis of lung cancer were associated with severe DIs. Polypharmacy, inpatient status, and bad performance score (ECOG 3–4) were associated with PIMs. Conclusions Nearly one third of the elderly cancer patients are exposed to severe drug interactions and PIMs. Clinicians dealing with elderly cancer patients should be more cautious when prescribing/ planning drugs to this group of patients. More strategies should be developed in this group of patients to minimize the medications prescribed and prevent severe DIs.
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Background: Due to more comorbidities, polypharmacy is common in elderly patients and drug interactions are inevitable. Prevalence and clinical impacts of drug interactions and using potentially inappropriate medications (PIM) have been studied in geriatric patients. However, these are not well defined in oncology practice. The purpose of this study is to define the prevalence of PIMs and drug interactions (DIs) in elderly cancer patients and investigate the factors associated with them Methods: Patients more than 65 years of age in both inpatient and outpatient clinics were evaluated. Patient, disease characteristics and medications used were collected by self reports and medical records. Drug interactions were checked and PIM was defined with 2012 update of Beers criteria. Severe drug interactions are defined with category D or X DIs. Results: 445 elderly patients (286 outpatient, 159 inpatient), with a median age of 70 (65- 89) were evaluated. Severe DIs were present in 156(35.1%) of patients, 81(28.3%) and 75(47.2%) for outpatient and inpatients, respectively (p<0.001). PIMs were present in 117(26.6%) of the patients, 40(14.2%) and 77(48.4%) for outpatient and inpatients, respectively (p<0.001). In multivariate analysis; polypharmacy (≥5 drugs), inpatient status and diagnosis of lung cancer were associated with severe DIs. Polypharmacy, inpatient status and bad performance score (ECOG 3-4) were associated with PIMs (Table). Conclusions: Nearly one third of the elderly cancer patients are exposed to severe drug interactions and PIMs. More strategies should be developed in this group of patients to minimize the medications prescribed and prevent severe DIs.
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Background: Several studies have evaluated the independent prognostic value of impairments in single geriatric-assessment (GA) components in elderly cancer patients. None identified homogeneous subgroups. Our aims were to identify such subgroups based on combinations of GA components and to assess their associations with treatment decisions, admission, and death. Methods: We prospectively included 1,021 patients aged ≥70 years who had solid or hematologic malignancies and who underwent a GA in one of two French teaching hospitals. Two geriatricians independently selected candidate GA parameters for latent class analysis, which was then performed on the 821 cases without missing data. Age, gender, tumor site, metastatic status, and inpatient versus outpatient status were used as active covariates and predictors of class membership. Outcomes were cancer treatment decisions, overall 1-year mortality, and 6-month unscheduled admissions. Sensitivity analyses were performed on the overall population of 1,021 patients and on 375 newly enrolled patients. Results: We identified four classes: relatively healthy (LC1, 28%), malnourished (LC2, 36%), cognitive and mood impaired (LC3, 15%), and globally impaired (LC4, 21%). Tumor site, metastatic status, age, and in/outpatient status independently predicted class membership (p < .001). In adjusted pairwise comparisons, compared to LC1, the three other LCs were associated with higher risks of palliative treatment, death, and unscheduled admission (p ≤ .05). LC4 was associated with 1-year mortality and palliative treatment compared to LC2 and LC3 (p ≤ .05). Conclusion: We identified four health profiles that may help physicians select cancer treatments and geriatric interventions. Researchers may find these profiles useful for stratifying patients in clinical trials.
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Background: The aim of this study was to demonstrate the prevalence and possible predictors of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) and potentially prescription omissions (PPOs) according to the Screening Tool of Older Person's Prescriptions (STOPP) and Screening Tool to Alert doctors to Right Treatment (START) criteria in geriatric patients. Methods: A total of 374 patients (140 male, 234 female) aged ≥65 years were included. Comprehensive demographic and clinical data including age, gender, current diagnoses/medications, comorbid diseases and medical problems were noted. Results: There were 154 (41.2 %) patients with at least one PIM. Most common PIMs were proton pump inhibitors for peptic ulcer disease (9.6 %), calcium-channel blockers (6.4 %) and anticholinergic/antispasmodic drugs (5.9 %) in chronic constipation. There were 274 (73.3 %) patients with at least one PPO. Most common PPOs were calcium-vitamin D supplement in osteoporosis (OP) (39.6 %), statin (22.5 %) and antiplatelet therapies (16.0 %) in diabetes mellitus (DM) with cardiovascular risk factors. PIM was independently associated with female gender (OR = 2.21, p = 0.003), number of medications (OR = 1.35, p < 0.001), Katz scores of daily life activities (OR = 0.87, p = 0.013) and OP (OR = 0.29, p < 0.001). PPO was independently associated with age (OR = 1.06, p = 0.009), Geriatric Depression Scale score (OR = 1.20, p = 0.007), DM (OR = 6.50, p < 0.001), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (OR = 5.29, p = 0.010), number of medications (OR = 0.88, p = 0.019), and incontinence (OR = 0.39, p = 0.043). Conclusion: High prevalence of PIMs and PPOs were found in geriatric patients. Number of medications, female gender, and dependency were associated with PIM. Age, higher scores of Geriatric Depression Scale, DM, and COPD were related with PPOs.
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Purpose: To assess solid cancer treatment feasibility in older patients. Methods: Between 2007 and 2010, 385 consecutive elderly patients (mean age: 78.9 ± 5.4 years; 47.8% males) with solid malignancies referred to two geriatric oncology clinics were included prospectively. We recorded feasibility of first-line chemotherapy (planned number of cycles in patients without metastases and three to six cycles depending on tumor site in patients with metastases), surgery (patient alive 30 days after successfully performed planned surgical procedure), radiotherapy (planned dose delivered), and hormonal therapy (planned drug dose given), and we recorded overall 1-year survival. Results: Main tumor sites were colorectal (28.6%), breast (23.1%), and prostate (10.9%), and 47% of patients had metastases. Planned cancer treatment was feasible in 65.7% of patients with metastases; this proportion was 59.0% for chemotherapy, 82.6% for surgery, 100% for radiotherapy, and 85.2% for hormonal therapy. In the group without metastases, feasibility proportions were 86.8% overall, 72.4% for chemotherapy, 95.7% for surgery, 96.4% for radiotherapy, and 97.9% for hormonal therapy. Factors independently associated with chemotherapy feasibility were good functional status defined as Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status <2 (p < .0001) or activities of daily living >5 (p = .01), normal mobility defined as no difficulty walking (p = .01) or no fall risk (p = .007), and higher creatinine clearance (p = .04). Conclusion: Feasibility rates were considerably lower for chemotherapy than for surgery, radiotherapy, and hormonal therapy. Therefore, utilization of limited geriatric oncology resources may be optimized by preferential referral of elderly cancer patients initially considered for chemotherapy to geriatric oncology clinics.
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Background: Although comorbidities are identified in routine oncology practice, intervention plans for the coexisting needs of older people receiving chemotherapy are rarely made. This study evaluates the impact of geriatrician-delivered comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) interventions on chemotherapy toxicity and tolerance for older people with cancer. Methods: Comparative study of two cohorts of older patients (aged 70+ years) undergoing chemotherapy in a London Hospital. The observational control group (N=70, October 2010-July 2012) received standard oncology care. The intervention group (N=65, September 2011-February 2013) underwent risk stratification using a patient-completed screening questionnaire and high-risk patients received CGA. Impact of CGA interventions on chemotherapy tolerance outcomes and grade 3+ toxicity rate were evaluated. Outcomes were adjusted for age, comorbidity, metastatic disease and initial dose reductions. Results: Intervention participants undergoing CGA received mean of 6.2±2.6 (range 0-15) CGA intervention plans each. They were more likely to complete cancer treatment as planned (odds ratio (OR) 4.14 (95% CI: 1.50-11.42), P=0.006) and fewer required treatment modifications (OR 0.34 (95% CI: 0.16-0.73), P=0.006). Overall grade 3+ toxicity rate was 43.8% in the intervention group and 52.9% in the control (P=0.292). Conclusions: Geriatrician-led CGA interventions were associated with improved chemotherapy tolerance. Standard oncology care should shift towards modifying coexisting conditions to optimise chemotherapy outcomes for older people.
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Background: Cancer patients are especially vulnerable to drug interactions, which may alter the efficacy and toxicity of treatment, leading to severe clinical consequences. Objective: Determine the incidence of such interactions in patients receiving chemotherapy, as well as to identify the drugs most frequently involved, investigate the influence of the pharmacist's interventions and verify the degree of acceptance of pharmacist's recommendations by the medical team. Setting: The oncology department of a Spanish tertiary hospital. Methods: During 3 months, all the drug interactions in the regular combined with treatment for cancer were analysed using two databases, and recommendations were made when clinically significant interactions (CSI) were identified. Main outcome measure: Incidence of CSI in oncology outpatients; drugs involved in CSI. Results: Of the 75 patients included, 31 (41%) presented CSI. Most interactions were among drugs included in the patient's usual treatment. The principal drug groups involved in CSI were cytostatic agents, antiemetics and antidepressants. The hospital pharmacist intervened on 20 occasions (35% of the patients presenting drug interactions). These interventions mainly focused on recommendations to modify or discontinue drug prescriptions, and were followed in 94% of cases. Conclusion: The incidence of drug interactions in cancer patients is high, and they most often involve medications to treat comorbid conditions. The pharmacist, as a member of the multidisciplinary team, can contribute significantly by checking the treatment prescribed and detecting interactions, to reduce medication-related problems and to optimise drug therapy for these patients.
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Objective In older men with prostate cancer, aging is associated with reduced anxiety and increased depression. The purpose of this study was to examine the association among age, anxiety, and depression in a cohort of older adults receiving chemotherapy.Methods This is a secondary analysis of a prospective longitudinal study investigating chemotherapy toxicity in older adults with cancer. Baseline data (pre-chemotherapy) included: age, sociodemographics, tumor and treatment factors, functional status, comorbidities, psychological state (measured by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), and social support. Univariate and multiple regression analyses were conducted to test the relationship between age, anxiety, and depression.ResultsThe average age of the 500 patients (56% females) was 73.1. The majority had late stage disease: 22% Stage III and 61% stage IV. Clinically significant depression was reported in 12.6%. Clinically significant anxiety was reported in 20.9%. In univariate analyses, there was no association between anxiety and age, or depression and age. In multivariable analyses, older age (p=0.05) was associated with decreased anxiety, as well as lack of social support (p<0.01) and increased number of comorbidities (p<0.01). In multivariable analysis, depression was associated with lack of social support (p<0.01), increased number of comorbidities (p<0.01), and advanced stage (p<0.01).Conclusions This study supports previous research that anxiety decreases with age in older adults with cancer. However, depression remained constant with increasing age. Greater resources and attention to identifying and treating the psychological sequelae of cancer in older adults are warranted.
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In cancer patients, drug interactions may intensify adverse events or reduce antitumour effects. We assessed the prevalence of potential drug interactions (PDIs) among ambulatory cancer patients on i.v. treatment using an advanced screening method. Data on drugs used for comorbidities, anticancer agents, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and comorbidities were collected by means of a structured interview among the patients and review of medical charts. PDIs were identified using electronic (Drug Interaction Facts software, version 4.0) and manual screening methods (peer-reviewed reports). In this study, 278 patients were enrolled. We identified 348 PDIs. Of all patients, 161 (58%) had at least one PDI. Of all PDIs, 34% was classified as major and 60% as moderate. Coumarins, quinolones, antiepileptics, and hydrochlorothiazide were frequently part of a PDI. Interactions that potentially cause QT interval prolongation, gastrointestinal toxicity, and central nervous system depression were also common. In multivariate analysis, an increasing number of drugs [odds ratio (OR) = 1.4, confidence interval (CI) 1.23-1.52; P < 0.001] and the use of an OTC drug (OR = 0.56, CI 0.32-0.97; P = 0.045) were risk factors. PDIs are common in patients treated for an (haemato-) oncological disease. Screening for potential interactions should take place routinely before administering chemotherapy.
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Learning Objectives After completing this course, the reader will be able to: Differentiate the multiple definitions of polypharmacy in order to be able to recognize it in your patient population.Discuss the current data available in evaluating polypharmacy specifically in older adults with cancer and incorporate the data in your evaluation of older patients.Summarize the agents or drug classes that may be deemed inappropriate in older adults to avoid prescribing medications for older patients that may lead to adverse drug events. CME This article is available for continuing medical education credit at CME.TheOncologist.com The definition of “polypharmacy” ranges from the use of a large number of medications; the use of potentially inappropriate medications, which can increase the risk for adverse drug events; medication underuse despite instructions to the contrary; and medication duplication. Older adults are particularly at risk because they often present with several medical conditions requiring pharmacotherapy. Cancer-related therapy adds to this risk in older adults, but few studies have been conducted in this patient population. In this review, we outline the adverse outcomes associated with polypharmacy and present polypharmacy definitions offered by the geriatrics literature. We also examine the strengths and weaknesses of these definitions and explore the relationships among these definitions and what is known about the prevalence and impact of polypharmacy.
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To ascertain the current burden of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) through a prospective analysis of all admissions to hospital. Prospective observational study. Two large general hospitals in Merseyside, England. 18 820 patients aged > 16 years admitted over six months and assessed for cause of admission. Prevalence of admissions due to an ADR, length of stay, avoidability, and outcome. There were 1225 admissions related to an ADR, giving a prevalence of 6.5%, with the ADR directly leading to the admission in 80% of cases. The median bed stay was eight days, accounting for 4% of the hospital bed capacity. The projected annual cost of such admissions to the NHS is 466m pounds sterling (706m Euros, 847m dollars). The overall fatality was 0.15%. Most reactions were either definitely or possibly avoidable. Drugs most commonly implicated in causing these admissions included low dose aspirin, diuretics, warfarin, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs other than aspirin, the most common reaction being gastrointestinal bleeding. The burden of ADRs on the NHS is high, accounting for considerable morbidity, mortality, and extra costs. Although many of the implicated drugs have proved benefit, measures need to be put into place to reduce the burden of ADRs and thereby further improve the benefit:harm ratio of the drugs.
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Cancer patients receive numerous medications, including antineoplastic agents, drugs for supportive care, and medications for comorbid illnesses. Therefore, they are at risk for drug interactions and duplicate prescribing. A questionnaire eliciting information on demographics and medications taken in the previous 4 weeks was given to adult outpatients receiving systemic anticancer therapy for solid tumors. The Drug Interaction Facts software, version 4.0, was used to identify potential drug interactions and to classify them by level of severity (major, moderate, or minor) and the strength of scientific evidence for them (using categories [1-5] of decreasing certainty). Summary statistics and logistic regression were used to analyze the data. All statistical tests were two-sided. The survey was completed by 405 patients. We observed 276 potential drug interactions, and at least one potential interaction was identified in 109 patients (27%; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 23% to 31%). Of the potential interactions, 25 (9%) were classified as major and 211 (77%) as moderate. Nearly half (49%) of potential interactions were supported by level 1 or 2 scientific evidence. Most potential drug interactions (87%) involved non-anticancer agents such as warfarin, antihypertensive drugs, corticosteroids, and anticonvulsants, but some (n = 36, 13%) involved antineoplastic agents. In multivariable analysis, increased risk of receiving drug combinations in which there were potential drug interactions was associated with receipt of increasing numbers of drugs (odds ratio [OR] = 1.4 per additional drug, 95% CI = 1.26 to 1.58, P<.001 from the Wald chi-square test), type of medication (drugs to treat comorbid conditions versus supportive care medications only; OR = 8.6, 95% CI = 2.9 to 25, P<.001), and the presence of brain tumors. Thirty-two (8%) patients were exposed to duplicate medications, most often corticosteroids, proton pump inhibitors, or benzodiazepines. Potential drug interactions were common among cancer patients and most often involved medications to treat comorbid conditions. Duplicate medications were infrequent.
Article
Objectives: Drug-drug interactions (DDIs) represent an escalating concern for older adults attributed to polypharmacy, multi-morbidity and organ dysfunction. Few studies have evaluated the prevalence of major DDIs and the variability between DDI detection software which confuses management. Materials and methods: Prevalence of major DDIs was examined as a secondary analysis of outpatients aged ≥65 years. Demographic and clinical information was collected from electronic health records including age, sex, race, cancer type, comorbidities, and medications. All DDIs were screened by a clinical pharmacist using Lexi-Interact® and Micromedex®. Major DDIs were defined as Lexi-Interact® category D or X and/or Micromedex® category major or contraindication. Summary statistics of patient characteristics and DDIs were computed. Results: Our cohort included 142 patients (mean age, 77.7 years; 56% women, 73% Caucasian). The mean medications was 9.8 including 6.7 prescriptions, 2.6 non-prescriptions, and 0.5 herbals. Lexi-Interact® identified 310 major DDIs in 69% of patients (n = 98) with an average of 2.2 DDIs per patient. Micromedex® identified 315 major DDIs in 61% of patients (n = 87) with an average of 2.2 DDIs per patient. DDIs mostly involved opioids, antiplatelets, electrolyte supplements, antiemetics, and antidepressants. Variability existed with the severity rating reporting of the clinical decision support software. Conclusions: There was a high prevalence of major DDIs in older adults with cancer. Utilizing clinical decision support software was beneficial for detecting DDIs however, variability existed with severity reporting. Future studies need to identify the relevant DDIs with clinical implications in order to optimize medication safety in this population.
Article
We aim to assess the prevalence and associated factors of clinical depression in older patients with cancer. We studied a prospective cohort of cancer patients aged ≥70 years and referred to geriatric oncology clinics between 2007 and 2012. A multidimensional geriatric assessment was performed before choosing the cancer-treatment strategy. Clinical depression was diagnosed by senior geriatricians by a semi-structured interview. It encompassed criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fourth edition) and of the International Classification of Diseases (10th edition). Multivariate logistic regression was performed. Of 1121 consecutive patients, 1092 had available data (mean age, 80.4 years; women, 48.8%; metastases, 51.3%; cancer location: colorectal 21.1%, breast 16.8%, kidney, bladder or urinary tract 14.0%, and prostate 11.4%). The overall prevalence of clinical depression was 28.4% (95% confidence interval, 25.7-31.2). Factors independently associated with clinical depression by multivariate analysis adjusting for all following factors plus gender, and metastasis were impaired mobility (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.35; 1.59-3.46), impaired functional status defined as Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status ≥ 2 (aOR, 2.39; 1.66-3.43) or as activities of daily living < 6 (aOR, 2.43; 1.73-3.41), inpatient status (aOR, 1.68; 1.20-2.37), inadequate social support (aOR, 1.66; 1.16-2.37), cognitive impairment (aOR, 1.76; 1.24-2.49), polypharmacy defined as five or more non-antidepressant drugs (aOR, 1.65; 1.14-2.38), multimorbidity (aORadditional CIRS-G point , 1.08; 1.04-1.12), and cancer-related pain (aOR, 1.76; 1.26-2.46). In older patients with as-yet untreated cancer at various sites and stages, clinical depression was highly prevalent. Clinical depression was independently associated with several geriatric assessment findings (impaired mobility and function, inadequate social support, cognitive impairment, polypharmacy, and multimorbidity) independently from gender, tumor site, and metastatic status. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Drug-drug interactions (DDIs) are of major concern in oncology, since cancer patients typically take many concomitant medications. Retrospective studies have been conducted to determine the prevalence of DDIs. However, prospective studies on DDIs needing interventions in cancer patients have not yet been performed. Therefore, a prospective study was designed to identify DDIs leading to interventions among ambulatory cancer patients receiving anticancer treatment. Patients starting with a new treatment regimen with intravenous or oral anticancer medication were asked to participate. The patients' medication was checked for DDIs by using drug interaction software. An expert team of clinical pharmacologists evaluated the relevance of these identified DDIs. If a DDI was qualified as potentially clinically relevant, an intervention was proposed to the treating (hemato)oncologist. Several variables were studied as determinants for performing an intervention. Descriptive statistics and uni- and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed. In this study 302 patients were included. A total of 603 DDIs were identified by the drug interaction software and judged by the expert team. Of all 603 DDIs, 120 DDIs were considered potentially clinically relevant. These 120 DDIs, present in a total of 81 patients, resulted in a clinical intervention already executed by the (hemato)oncologist in 39 patients (13%), while an additional intervention was proposed by a clinical pharmacologist in 42 patients (14%). The number of comorbidities and the number of "over-the-counter"-drugs were identified as determinants. Clinical interventions on DDIs are frequently required among patients starting with anticancer therapy. Structured screening for these potentially clinically relevant DDIs, by (hemato)oncologists in close collaborations with clinical pharmacologists, should take place before the start and during anticancer treatment. This study was registered at the Dutch Trial Registry under number NTR3760. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Article
Several electronic databases which report the prevalence of drug-drug interactions (DDIs) are used as a tool for evaluation of potentially harmful DDIs. The aim of our review was to evaluate the usability and appropriateness of commercially available electronic databases which assess the prevalence of potential DDIs. The systematic electronic literature search was conducted with the following search terms: "database" AND "software," and "drug-drug interactions" AND "database," and the inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied in order to identify the publications of interest. A total of 3766 papers were identified by systematic search. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, 38 publications were included in the analysis. The most commonly used software in the included studies was Micromedex® Drug-Reax, for which some authors argue to be the most reliable due to highest sensitivity. It gives information about clinical consequences of DDIs, classifies underlying mechanism and onset of the adverse outcome (either rapid, or delayed) as well as severity (such as minor, moderate, or major), and provides the level of evidence which supports this information. This data is also provided by Drug Interaction Facts®, Lexi-Interact®, and Pharmavista®. A small number of studies which compared assessment of DDIs with electronic database and the clinician's assessment showed large discrepancy in number and relevance of detected DDIs. The overlap was in some cases as low as 11 %. The deficiency of clinical relevance of detected DDIs should be addressed in the upcoming research as it would provide more relevant information to the prescribers' in clinical practice.
Article
Purpose Increased risk of drug interactions due to polypharmacy and aging-related changes in physiology among older patients with cancer is further augmented during chemotherapy. No previous studies examined potential drug interactions (PDIs) from polypharmacy and their association with chemotherapy tolerance in older patients with cancer. Methods This study is a retrospective medical chart review of 244 patients aged 70 + years who received chemotherapy for solid or hematological malignancies. PDI among all drugs, supplements, and herbals taken with the first chemotherapy cycle were screened for using the Drug Interaction Facts software, which classifies PDIs into five levels of clinical significance with level 1 being the highest. Descriptive and correlative statistics were used to describe rates of PDI. The association between PDI and severe chemotoxicity was tested with logistic regressions adjusted for baseline covariates. Results A total of 769 PDIs were identified in 75.4% patients. Of the 82 level 1 PDIs identified among these, 32 PDIs involved chemotherapeutics. A large proportion of the identified PDIs were of minor clinical significance. The risk of severe non-hematological toxicity almost doubled with each level 1 PDI (OR = 1.94, 95% CI: 1.22-3.09), and tripled with each level 1 PDI involving chemotherapeutics (OR = 3.08, 95% CI: 1.33-7.12). No association between PDI and hematological toxicity was found. Conclusions In this convenience sample of older patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy we found notable rates of PDI and a substantial adjusted impact of PDI on risk of non-hematological toxicity. These findings warrant further research to optimize chemotherapy outcomes.
Article
Drug interactions are an on-going concern in the treatment of cancer, especially when targeted therapies, such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) or mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors, are being used. The emergence of elderly patients and/or patients with both cancer and other chronic co-morbidities leads to polypharmacy. Therefore, the risk of drug-drug interactions (DDI) becomes a clinically relevant issue, all the more so as TKIs and mTOR inhibitors are essentially metabolised by cytochrome P450 enzymes. These DDIs can result in variability in anticancer drug exposure, thus favouring the selection of resistant cellular clones or the occurrence of toxicity. This review provides a comprehensive overview of DDIs that involve targeted therapies approved by the FDA for the treatment of solid tumours for more than 3 years (sorafenib, sunitinib, erlotinib, gefitinib, imatinib, lapatinib, everolimus, temsirolimus) and medicinal herb or drugs. This review also provides some guidelines to help oncologists and pharmacists in their clinical practice.
Article
Aging is associated with polymorbidity and polypharmacy. In the absence of a consensual definition, polypharmacy has been defined according to the number of drugs that an individual takes or to the presence of the risk of at least one severe drug interaction. In older cancer patients, polypharmacy is at least as common as it is in individuals of the same age without cancer. The management of cancer itself may result in the addition of more medications to counteract the adverse effects of antineoplastic treatment. Polypharmacy may be necessary to control the multiple health conditions of the older person, but it may represent a risk factor for more complications from antineoplastic therapy, and it may affect the outcome of cancer treatment. Polypharmacy is also associated with increased cost. The criteria proposed for the management of polypharmacy include the assessment that all medical conditions are properly treated, the avoidance of drug interactions, and of drugs that may compromise the outcome of antineoplastic treatment and the choice of drugs with the lowest risk of complications in older individuals.
Article
Although the association between multimorbidity and polypharmacy has been clearly documented, no study has analyzed whether or not specific combinations of diseases influence the prescription of polypharmacy in older persons. We assessed which clusters of diseases are associated with polypharmacy in acute-care elderly in-patients. This cross-sectional study was held in 38 Italian internal medicine and geriatric wards participating in the Registro Politerapie SIMI (REPOSI) study during 2008. The study sample included 1155 in-patients aged 65 years or older. Clusters of diseases, defined as two or more co-occurring specific chronic diseases, were identified using the odds ratio (OR) for the associations between pairs of diseases followed by cluster analysis. Polypharmacy was defined as the prescription of five or more different medications at hospital discharge. Logistic regression models were run to analyze the association between clusters of diseases and polypharmacy. Among clusters of diseases, the highest mean number of drugs (>8) was found in patients affected by heart failure (HF) plus chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), HF plus chronic renal failure (CRF), COPD plus coronary heart disease (CHD), diabetes mellitus plus CRF, and diabetes mellitus plus CHD plus cerebrovascular disease (CVD). The strongest association between clusters of diseases and polypharmacy was found for diabetes mellitus plus CHD plus CVD, diabetes plus CHD, and HF plus atrial fibrillation (AF). The observed knowledge of the relationship among co-occurring diseases and polypharmacy should help to identify and monitor older in-patients at risk of polypharmacy.
Article
Tools are lacking to assess the individual risk of severe toxicity from chemotherapy. Such tools would be especially useful for older patients, who vary considerably in terms of health status and functional reserve. The authors conducted a prospective, multicentric study of patients aged ≥70 years who were starting chemotherapy. Grade 4 hematologic (H) or grade 3/4 nonhematologic (NH) toxicity according to version 3.0 of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events was defined as severe. Twenty-four parameters were assessed. Toxicity of the regimen (Chemotox) was adjusted using an index to estimate the average per-patient risk of chemotherapy toxicity (the MAX2 index). In total, 562 patients were accrued, and 518 patients were evaluable and were split randomly (2:1 ratio) into a derivation cohort and a validation cohort. Severe toxicity was observed in 64% of patients. The Chemotherapy Risk Assessment Scale for High-Age Patients (CRASH) score was constructed along 2 subscores: H toxicity and NH toxicity. Predictors of H toxicity were lymphocytes, aspartate aminotransferase level, Instrumental Activities of Daily Living score, lactate dehydrogenase level, diastolic blood pressure, and Chemotox. The best model included the 4 latter predictors (risk categories: low, 7%; medium-low, 23%; medium-high, 54%; and high, 100%, respectively; P(trend) < .001). Predictors of NH toxicity were hemoglobin, creatinine clearance, albumin, self-rated health, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance, Mini-Mental Status score, Mini-Nutritional Assessment score, and Chemotox. The 4 latter predictors provided the best model (risk categories: 33%, 46%, 67%, and 93%, respectively; P(trend) < .001). The combined risk categories were 50%, 58%, 77%, and 79%, respectively; P(trend) < .001). Bootstrap internal validation and independent sample validation demonstrated stable risk categorization and P(trend) < .001. The CRASH score distinguished several risk levels of severe toxicity. The split score discriminated better than the combined score. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first score systematically integrating both chemotherapy and patient risk for older patients and has a potential for future clinical application.
Article
More and more elderly people with cancer are treated in oncology clinics worldwide every year, many of whom have comorbid disorders treated with one or more drugs. Moreover, these patients might also take self-prescribed over-the-counter drugs or complementary and alternative medicines, which they might not tell their doctor about. Initiation of chemotherapy with one or more cytotoxic or targeted agents and drugs for treatment of cancer symptoms or toxic effects related to treatment can result in polypharmacy. We examine the clinical implications of polypharmacy. Challenges for the medical teams who treat elderly patients with cancer include identification of what drugs are actually being taken by the patient, avoidance or management of any adverse effects or drug interactions, and reassessing the patient's overall treatment. We address these issues and propose practical recommendations for management of treatment for elderly patients with cancer.
Article
To identify Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) components independently associated with changes in planned cancer treatment. We prospectively included 375 consecutive elderly patients with cancer (ELCAPA01 study) assessed by geriatricians using the CGA. Multivariate analysis was used to identify factors associated with changes in the cancer treatment (intensification, decrease, or delayed > 2 weeks). Change was defined as a difference between the initial treatment proposal and the final treatment selected in a multidisciplinary meeting. Mean age was 79.6 years (standard deviation [SD], 5.6 years), and 197 (52.5%) were women. The most common tumor location was the digestive system (58.7%). The mean number of comorbidities was 4.2 (SD, 2.7) per patient, and the mean Cumulative Illness Rating Scale for Geriatrics score was 11.8 (SD, 5.3). After the CGA, the initial cancer treatment plan was modified for 78 (20.8%) of 375 patients (95% CI, 16.8 to 25.3), usually to decrease treatment intensity (63 [80.8%] of 78 patients). By univariate analysis, cancer treatment changes were associated with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status ≥ 2 (73.3% in the group with changes v 41.1% in the in the group without changes; P < .001), dependency for one or more activities of daily living (ADL; 59.0% v 24.2%; P < .001), malnutrition (81.8% v 51.2%; P < .001), cognitive impairment (38.5% v 24.9%; P = .023), depression (52.6% v 21.7%; P < .001), and greater number of comorbidities (mean, 4.8 [SD, 2.9] v 4.0 [SD, 2.6]; P = .02). By multivariate analysis, factors independently associated with cancer treatment changes were a lower ADL score (odds ratio [OR], 1.25 per 0.5-point decrease; CI, 1.04 to 1.49; P = .016) and malnutrition (OR, 2.99; CI, 1.36 to 6.58; P = .007). Functional status assessed by the ADL score and malnutrition were independently associated with changes in cancer treatment.
Article
Drug interaction constitutes a major challenge in elderly cancer patients. This study investigated the number and types of medications patients and potential drug interactions in these patients. Treatments received by 105 cancer outpatients aged ≥70 years were analyzed using the French Thesaurus to identify drug-drug interactions according to four levels: contraindication, concomitant use not recommended, concomitant medications requiring precautions and concomitant medications to be taken into account. The mean number of medications per patient was 4.7 (range: 0-14). Among 97 patients taking ≥2 drugs, 45 potential interactions were identified, occurring in 32 patients. No contraindication, 2 cases of concomitant use not recommended, 9 cases requiring precautions (20%) and 34 cases of concomitant medications to be taken into account were identified. Drug interactions caused respiratory distress and increased bleeding risk. Drug interactions are common in the elderly, but almost half of interactions were moderate.
Article
Prescribing for older patients is challenging and complex. Cancer patients are at a considerable increased risk of drug-related problems because they typically receive a large number of medications during their cancer treatment, both for the cancer itself and for supportive care. Few studies have examined the scope of this problem in older newly diagnosed cancer patients. To investigate the number and severity of potential drug problems and factors associated with the occurrence of potential drug problems in older newly diagnosed cancer patients. This prospective pilot study was conducted in newly diagnosed cancer patients aged > or =65 years recruited in the Segal Cancer Centre, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Vigilance Santé software was used to identify the presence and type of potential drug problems. Logistic regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with the presence of one or more severe or moderately severe potential drug problems. There were 112 participants with a mean age of 74.2 years, and 70% were women. A total of 103 patients (92%) were taking medications. The median number of medications per patient was 5 (interquartile range 3-9) and a total of 247 potential drug problems were identified. Sixty-four patients (62.1%) had a potential drug problem of any level of severity and 49 patients had a potential moderate/severe drug problem identified (47.6%). Two (0.8%) potential drug problems of the most severe level were identified, 122 warnings (49.4%) of all potential problems were of moderate severity and 123 warnings (49.8%) were at the least severe level. Factors associated with having one or more moderate/severe potential drug problems were taking five or more drugs and age > or =76 years. The majority of older newly diagnosed cancer patients in this study were taking at least one medication and the median number of medications per patient was 5. Published studies have shown that medication problems are common in community-dwelling older persons, but they are mostly of low severity. In this group of older newly diagnosed cancer patients, potential medication problems were also found to be common; however, half of the potential problems identified were of moderate severity.
Article
Increasing evidence from experimental studies and human observations suggests that drugs with anticholinergic properties can cause physical and mental impairment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the use of drugs with anticholinergic activity and measures of physical performance, muscle strength, and functional status in persons aged 80 years or older. Data are from baseline evaluation of 364 subjects enrolled in the ilSIRENTE study. The ilSIRENTE study is a prospective cohort study performed in the mountain community living in the Sirente geographic area (L'Aquila, Abruzzo) in Central Italy. Physical performance was assessed using the physical performance battery score (Short Physical Performance Battery), which is based on three timed tests: 4-meter walking speed, balance, and chair stand tests. Muscle strength was measured by hand grip strength. We defined as anticholinergic drugs all medications for which serum anticholinergic activity was previously demonstrated. Analyses of covariance were performed to evaluate the relationship of anticholinergic drugs with physical function. In the unadjusted model, all the physical performance, muscle strength, and functional measures showed significant associations with the anticholinergic drug use. After adjustment for potential confounders (age, gender, smoking, physical activity level, cognitive performance score, living alone, body mass index, congestive heart failure, lung diseases, diabetes), these associations were weaker but still statistically significant (physical performance battery score: non-users anticholinergic drugs 6.9, SE 0.1, users anticholinergic drugs 6.1, SE 0.2, P=0.05; hand grip strength: non-users anticholinergic drugs 31.3 kg, SE 0.8, users anticholinergic drugs 28.8 kg, SE 1.0, P=0.05; Activities of Daily Living scale score: non-users anticholinergic drugs 1.2, SE 0.1, users anticholinergic drugs 1.6, SE 0.1, P=0.03; Instrumental Activities of Daily Living scale score: non-users anticholinergic drugs 2.7, SE 0.1, users anticholinergic drugs 3.4, SE 0.1, P<0.001). The use of medication with anticholinergic properties is common among community older subjects in Italy. Our results suggest that among old-old subjects the use of anticholinergic drugs is associated with impaired physical performance and functional status.
Article
Older oncology patients with multiple comorbidities are at risk for adverse drug events associated with polypharmacy and drug-drug interactions due to patients' altered pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic status and the narrow therapeutic windows associated with anti-neoplastic agents. This study addresses the issue of polypharmacy and potential drug-drug interactions in outpatients in a community setting in the USA, and the prescribing behaviour of oncologists after being made aware of potential drug-drug interactions. We performed a retrospective cohort study in patients with multiple comorbidities exposed to chemotherapy to profile the potential for adverse drug reactions and to define physicians' responses to risks arising from drug interactions. The medical records of 100 patients aged >or=70 years receiving chemotherapeutic agents at a community-based, university-affiliated medical practice were randomly selected and reviewed. Drug class usage was quantified, and potential drug-drug interactions were assessed and categorized. Treating oncologists were encouraged to modify their prescriptions on the basis of potential interactive drug evaluation reports. Physicians' responses were catalogued. The mean age of the study population was 78 years (range, 70-90 years). Patients had an average of three comorbid conditions. Each patient received an average of 9 x 1 medications. Cardiovascular drugs were the most common medications that patients used to treat chronic conditions. Carboplatin and paclitaxel were the most frequently used chemotherapeutic agents. Inspite of the potential for drug-drug interactions, physicians made no adjustments to prescriptions. Given that polypharmacy and the chronic use of multiple drugs are a reality for older patients with cancer and polymorbidities, outcome data need to be generated and motivations/incentives provided for physicians to optimize safe and effective supportive oncologic therapeutics.
Cancer statistics, 2010
  • Jemal