Breast cancer and aging: results of the U13 conference breast cancer panel
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Breast cancer is predominantly a disease of older women, yet there is a knowledge gap due to the persisting misalignment between the age distribution of women with breast cancer and the age distribution of participants in clinical trials. The purpose of this report is to state the U13 conference breast cancer panel’s recommendations regarding therapeutic clinical trials that will fill gaps in knowledge regarding the care of older patients with breast cancer. The U13 conference was a collaboration between the Cancer and Aging Research Group and the National Institute on Aging and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Clinical trials should be developed for frail and vulnerable patients who would not enroll on the standard phase III trials, as well as efforts need to be made to increase enrollment of fit older patients on standard phase III trials. As a result of this conference, panel members are working with the NCI and cooperative groups to address these knowledge gaps. With the aging population and increasing incidence of breast cancer with age, it is essential to study the feasibility, toxicity, and efficacy of cancer therapy in this at-risk population.