MASCC Geriatrics Study Group


Chair: Sriram Yennu, MD – United States
Vice-Chair: Yogesh Bendale, MD – India

For more information or to contact Study Group Leaders, see our contact page.

Mission and Goals

The Geriatric Study Group will promote and collaboratively support the inclusion of a Geriatric Oncology focus within MASCC with the overall goal of enhancing best practices in cancer supportive clinical care. Our Goals are the following:

  • To function independently and collaboratively within MASCC with regard to the identification and resolution of geriatric oncology-centered cancer supportive care issues;
  • To serve as an expertise resource for MASCC study groups and the MASCC leadership;
  • To foster the understanding and appreciation of the underlying principles of geriatrics-focused cancer supportive care;
  • To promote enhanced communication and potential collaboration with external professional societies that have, or might develop, a focus on geriatric oncology supportive care; 
  • To advocate for the inclusion of geriatric oncology-centered supportive care research into the universal comprehensive cancer care research agenda; and
  • To establish guidelines for the management of cancer-treatment complications that affect the geriatric oncology population.

MASCC/ISOO Annual Meeting  - Pre-Conference Workshops

Due to the 2021 Annual Meeting being an entirely virtual event, we have decided to replace the "traditional" three days of workshops with several hour-long sessions running throughout the program, including a live question and answer element. Stay tuned for specific details in upcoming newsletter, on our website, and through our social media channels. Our event platform will also incorporate a state-of-the-art networking facility where delegates with similar fields of interest will be able to easily connect online, either in groups or individually. See the 2021 Program.

Oral Supportive Care for Older Adults with Cancer: How Do They Eat? What Do They Eat?
Chairs: Kıvanç Bektaş Kayhan, PhD, DDS, and Christopher Steer, MBChB, MD, FRCOG
This session will explore practical aspects and key issues in oral care and nutrition assessment of older adults with cancer. Three distinct perspectives will be represented: those of the oncologist, the dietitian, and the dentist. Oncology-related topics will include risks for orodental and nutritional problems in older adults with cancer and geriatric assessment as a supportive care strategy. Dietary topics will include nutritional issues and the role of the dietitian on the multidisciplinary team, nutritional assessment, and interventions, such as dietary modifications. Dental topics will include the impacts of poor oral health, how dentists assess oral health, and interventions for preventing and managing oral healthcare problems in this patient group. A practical interactive workshop is planned to ensure that participants learn the basics of oral health and dietary assessment. Oral health assessments are not currently performed routinely as part of a comprehensive geriatric assessment. The session will conclude with a group discussion of which oral health assessments can be recommended and a strategy for integrating this into routine care.

This years session represents a collaboration between three Study Groups: Geriatrics, Nutrition and Cachexia, and Oral Care. 

Standards and New Technologies for the Monitoring and Management of Patient-Reported Toxicities during Active Treatment and Follow-up

Chairs: Corina van den Hurk, PhD, and Sangeeta Agarawal RN, MS, CAS
This session will address current and best practices for monitoring and management of patient-reported symptoms and will evaluate the emerging role of technology in this area. Speakers will review current practices, demonstrate new technologies, and discuss ways to guide patients in symptom self-management. Small-group discussions will consider such topics as new therapies, toxicities, and tools, guidelines, and management strategies from the perspective of such fields as dermatology, neurology, and geriatrics. Other topics will include multidisciplinary coordination and management, emerging themes, supportive care models, and opportunities for international collaboration. In addition, there will be a live demonstration of the latest technological advances in this area, including the use of artificial intelligence, chatbots, and virtual reality walkthroughs. The session will conclude with the generation of an outline for a paper on guidelines and a framework for incorporating technological advances for monitoring and management of patient-reported toxicities in daily clinical practice.
This years session represents a collaboration between three MASCC Study Groups: Geriatrics, Neurological Complications, and Oncodermatology.

Past Workshops

Recent Member Publications

Recent Study Group member publications related to geriatric oncology.


The International Society of Geriatric Oncology, or Société Internationale d’Oncologie Gériatrique, is a multidisciplinary medical society of physicians in the fields of oncology and geriatrics, along with other allied health professionals. The Society has over 5,000 members in more than 75 countries around the world. Its goal is to foster the development of health professionals in geriatric oncology, in order to optimize treatment of older adults with cancer. Visit the Society’s website for more information:

AgeCare®, an Elite Research Center based in the Department of Oncology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark, is directed by Jørn Herrstedt, MD, DMSc. The center aims to optimize cancer therapy and supportive care for older cancer patients through a wide range of research projects. Its staff includes physicians in numerous specialties, medical physicists, and nurses. The team also collaborates with translational researchers, molecular biologists, and clinical pharmacologists at the University of Southern Denmark, as well as other national and international centers. AgeCare works with other groups and societies at the intersection of geriatric oncology and supportive care. These include the Cancer and Aging Research Group and the International Society for Geriatric Oncology, as well as MASCC. >>Read more

Bone Health in Elderly Cancer Patients: A SIOG Position Paper
MASCC members Matti Aapro, Jean-Jacques Body, and Annie Young are members of an International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) Task Force on bone protection in older patients with cancer. The work of the Task Force has led to a recent SIOG position paper: Bone Health in the Elderly Cancer Patient (Body JJ et al. Cancer Treat Rev, 2016 Dec;51:46-53; follow link for full text). The paper includes general recommendations for the use of bone-modifying agents, recommendations (with grades of evidence) for managing bone metastases in breast and prostate cancer, recommendations from the European Myeloma Network for the management of bone-related complications, and recommendations for nursing care as part of the multidisciplinary management of elderly patients with bone metastases.

A Perspective on Cancer Care for Older Patients
Lodovico Balducci, of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, US, and Matti Aapro, of the Multidisciplinary Oncology Institute, Genolier, Switzerland, share their perspective on cancer care for older patients in a paper titled “Complicated and Complex: Helping the Older Patient with Cancer to Exit the Labyrinth.” The authors distinguish between, and stress the importance of, the complications and complexities involved in treating older cancer patients. They also propose a five-step strategy for negotiating the complexities and offer suggestions for building more reliable assessment instruments with the goal of maximizing benefits of treatment while minimizing the risks for this vulnerable population. This paper, published in the Journal of Geriatric Oncology, is free online at the journal’s website: J Geriatr Oncol. 2014 Jan;5(1):116-8.


ESMO Handbook of Cancer in the Senior Patient - Editors: Dirk Schrijvers, Matti Aapro, Branko Zakotnik, Riccardo Audisio, Hendrik van Halteren, Arti Hurria. 2010

For more information or to contact Study Group Leaders, see our contact page.