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Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2011, Article ID 628670, 6 pages
Review Article

Clinical Pharmacology of Chemotherapy Agents in Older People with Cancer

1Department of Geriatrics, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China
2Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
3Sydney Medical School and Royal North Shore Hospital, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
4Centre for Education and Research on Ageing, Concord Hospital, NSW 2139, Australia

Received 27 March 2011; Accepted 23 June 2011

Academic Editor: Victoria Cogger

Copyright © 2011 Xiaoye He et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Populations around the world are aging, and the associated increase in cancer incidence has led to the recognition of the importance of geriatric oncology. Chronological age is a poor determinant of pharmacological response to cancer chemotherapy agents. Age-associated changes in physiology and organ function have a significant impact on the clinical pharmacology of cancer chemotherapy agents used in cancer treatment. Altered response to medicines in older people is a consequence of changes in body composition, organ function, concomitant pathophysiology, multiple medications, genetic determinants of drug response, and patient's clinical status. These issues highlight the need to individualize the management of cancer in the older people with consideration of age-related changes in the clinical pharmacology of cancer drugs, analgesics, and adjunctive therapies.