The findings have recently been published in the journal JAMA Network Open.
As a result of demographic change, the proportion of older oncology patients is rising sharply. Compared to younger patients, cancer treatment is highly individualised due to more frequent and sometimes severe comorbidities, increasing age-related infirmities and reduced physical fitness. It is also important to consider the side effects of treatment, which can affect quality of life. The standard treatment for head and neck cancer is either surgical removal of the tumour followed by radiotherapy, or organ-preserving radiotherapy in combination with chemotherapy. The use of concomitant chemotherapy is particularly controversial because of the physical strain and side effects in older patients. So far, there is only a limited amount of trial data on the best treatment.