The second geriatric oncology retreat featured a guest speaker from City of Hope Medical Center, Dr. Arti Hurria, who gave a talk titled “Defining Resilience.” Dr. Hurria is an associate professor of medical oncology, director of the cancer and aging research program and editor of the new Journal of Geriatric Oncology.
“This opening talk defines how we think about our geriatric cancer patients, “says Dr. Hy Muss, professor of medicine and director of the UNC Geriatric Oncology Program. “Their life experiences have often given them a resilience that helps them with a cancer diagnosis.”
“The purpose of this second retreat was to continue to build a research group at UNC that will develop and study issues in geriatric oncology such as how to maintain function and the best quality of life after a diagnosis of cancer. “
Other speakers, all from UNC, were Dr. Laura Hanson who spoke on nutrition, and Dr. Ned Sharpless who spoke about molecular markers of aging as surrogates for resilience.
Dr. Hanson is an associate professor of medicine in the UNC School of Medicine’s division of geriatric medicine and co-director of the UNC Palliative Care Program. She is also a faculty member of the UNC Center for Aging and Health.
Dr. Sharpless is an associate professor of medicine and genetics in the UNC School of Medicine in the division of hematology and oncology. He is also associate director for translational research at UNC Lineberger.
Following a break, the 88 attendees participated in a forum on creating an agenda for research to shape the next steps in program development. New trials will focus on interventions for older cancer patients to help them maintain the highest level of function and have the best life possible, even with cancer.