Improving quality of life in elderly skin cancer patients: a clinical and health-economical approach

01 November 2020 → 31 October 2025
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Dermatology
    • Health economy
    • Geriatrics
    • Cancer therapy
Basal cell carcinoma Elderly Quality of life Treatment evaluation Health-economic analysis Management guidelines Healthy aging
Project description

Skin cancer is the most frequent cancer worldwide. The number of patients will triple over the next 20 years. It is generally divided in two groups: melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. Melanoma arise from melanocytes and are the most aggressive type. Basal and squamous cell carcinomas originate from keratinocytes. Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) represent 70% of all skin cancers. These tumors do not metastasize but are locally invasive. The management of BCCs is challenging in the elderly. On the one hand the number of people over 65 years old and life expectancy is increasing across the globe. On the other hand, although mortality as a result of BCC is rare, they do influence quality of life (QoL) in a distinct way, slowly growing into the surrounding tissues and resulting in functional complications, secondary infection or pain. There is a lack of guidelines for the approach of these tumors in the elderly. In this project we aim to evaluate the treatment landscape of BCCs. We will characterize the natural behavior of BCCs in elderly and map their impact on the QoL. A large RCT will evaluate treatment effectiveness, complication rates, QoL and overall survival. We will propose a more appropriate treatment and follow up regimen for these patients. With the implementation of a health-economic analysis, the overall goal is to develop novel, innovative and cost-effective guidelines for the treatment of BCCs in the elderly population within the WHO concept of healthy aging.