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© 2019 Acosta-Benito MA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

RESEARCH ARTICLE | OPEN ACCESSDOI: 10.23937/2378-3419/1410118

Frailty as a Prognosis Factor in Cancer for the Elderly

Miguel Ángel Acosta-Benito1,2*, Rosa Ana García-Pliego1, Jaime Barrio-Cortes1 and Verónica Rodríguez-FernÁndez1

1Family Doctor in the Madrid's Public Health Services, Spain

2Member of the Group of Work on Pathology of the Elderly, Madrid's Family Medicine Society (SoMaMFyC), Spain



Frailty is a geriatric syndrome related to adverse health outcomes in the elderly, due to a decrease systems' functional reserve. Cancer is a common pathology in the elderly, and we need tools for identifying the response to treatment and prognosis of elderly cancer patients. This short revision aims to assess the significance of the detection of frailty in the elderly patient with a tumor as a possible prognostic factor in terms of mortality, and the impact of the 2013 Frailty Consensus in the research activity.

Materials and methods

A review of the literature from 2013 (when an International Consensus on frailty was published) to 2016 was made, choosing works that used some of the frail scales proposed by the consensus and had mortality results with a correct description of the stadistic analysis.


15 papers were selected, finding an increased mortality risk in frail older people (OR from 2.07 to 12.5). The number of papers related to frailty in cancer patients increased from 1 in 2013 to 10 in 2015.


Frailty must be detected in old cancer patient as a potential prognosis factor that can help in choosing the better treatment. The impact of this entity in publications is growing since the International consensus of 2013, but further research must be made to establish a gold standard for the detection of the syndrome, and analyze all the consequences of frailty in the evolution and prognosis of cancer.