Impact of Biomedical Progress on Health Span and Health Care of the Elderly

Friday, February 19, 2010: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Room 17B (San Diego Convention Center)
Progressive expansion of the elderly population has enhanced the challenge of delivering cost-effective medical preventative measures and care for the complex conditions of senior members of society. To explore ways in which current advances of basic and clinical scientific research enable improvements in health span, this session considers how such developments have promoted our understanding and management of the aging-affected conditions of metabolic dysregulation, cancer, and immune-inflammatory dysfunction. Deterioration and redistribution of pathways of energy generation and utilization with aging, which affect both physical function and cognition, have been characterized and may respond favorably to nutritional and hormonal measures. Beyond a more than 10-fold higher incidence and mortality of cancer in the elderly is their diminished tolerance of conventional treatments. Optimization of cancer management in the elderly is coming from elucidation of aging-associated properties of tumors, design of new geriatric tools for assessment of cancer, and development of treatment modalities suited to their altered pharmacobiology. Decreases in supplies of new immune cells, magnitude and adaptability of protective immune responses, and effectiveness of immune control mechanisms result in diminished host defenses and increased autoimmunity and inflammatory reactions, which may improve with administration of isolated immune proteins and drugs selectively targeting specific defects.
Edward J. Goetzl, University of California
Edward J. Goetzl, University of California
Luigi Ferrucci, National Institutes of Health
Metabolism, Energetics, and the Pathway to Disability in Human Aging
Arti Hurria, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
Chronologic and Physiologic Factors in the Assessment of Older Adults with Cancer
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