Vulnerable patients discontinued CCRT before completion at a rate of 19.5%, compared with 6.1% for nonvulnerable patients (P <.001). Several grade 3 or higher AEs occurred with greater incidences among vulnerable patients than among nonvulnerable patients.

The researchers determined that the comprehensive geriatric assessment was useful for identifying vulnerability in patients across ages in this study.

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“Vulnerability was common in patients with primary HNC and was independently associated with poor survival, high treatment-related complications, and severe adverse events of CCRT,” the researchers wrote in their report.

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Chou WC, Chang PH, Chen PT, et al. Clinical significance of vulnerability assessment in patients with primary head and neck cancer undergoing definitive concurrent chemoradiotherapy [published online January 24, 2020]. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys.  doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.01.004