Geriatric-assessment Interventions to Address Functional Deficits in Older Adults w Multiple Myeloma

  • End date
    Jun 30, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Updated on 1 December 2021


Myeloma is the second most common type of blood cancer in the United States. Myeloma most commonly affects older adults. While some younger individuals do get myeloma, the average age when people are first diagnosed with myeloma is around 69 to 70.

Along with having a higher risk for myeloma, older adults have an increased chance of developing other health problems or issues. However, not everyone ages in the same way. Some older adults experience major changes in health or degree of independence at relatively younger ages, while others remain quite healthy for many years. The specific issues that develop with age can also vary from person to person. One older adult may face difficulties with vision or hearing, while another may develop memory problems.

Historically, cancer doctors have not done a very good job identifying these non-cancer issues. As a result, research has focused on better ways to systematically pick up on issues that may impact cancer outcomes or quality of life. The outgrowth of this research is assessments and questionnaires referred to as "comprehensive geriatric assessments," which evaluate the health and functionality of older adults thoroughly but efficiently. In both myeloma and other types of cancer, problems identified through geriatric assessments have been shown to predict how likely people are to develop side effects of cancer treatment and predict how long people are likely to live with cancer.

Prior research has not addressed how best to help with the issues picked up through a geriatric assessment among patients undergoing treatment for myeloma, although a number of effective interventions have been shown to benefit older adults with similar problems in other settings. Therefore, the current study will test a strategy of systematically screening older adults undergoing myeloma treatment for geriatric-assessment-related deficits and referring participants to appropriate services and resources. The geriatric assessment in this study includes tests of mobility, memory, vision, hearing, and nutrition as well as questions about symptoms and social support. Individuals who have deficits in one of these areas will be referred to relevant services and resources such as physical therapy, a pharmacist, or the cancer center support program. They will then repeat the same assessment three months later, and the results will be compared to their original assessment to see if the deficit has improved, with particular attention to mobility and social support.



Study participants complete a baseline Geriatric Assessment and European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life of Cancer Patients (QLQ) Core 30 (C30) and Myeloma supplement (MY20) questionnaires, either at the time of enrollment or as part of previous research studies.

Based on these assessments, an intervention strategy is developed by Study Team. These interventions largely consist of referrals to relevant specialists and existing services. These recommendations are communicated to the study participant, and participant-approved intervention referrals are made.

Following an initial appointment with these specialists, further follow-up will be determined based on the subject and specialist without input from the Study Team.

At three months from enrollment, study participants will be asked to complete a follow-up geriatric assessment, repeat EORTC questionnaires, and a satisfaction /feedback survey.

Duration of Therapy:

For patients referred to specialists as above, the duration of treatment or care with the specialist will be determined based on an agreement between the specialist and study participant.

Duration of Follow-up:

As part of this study, participants will only be followed through the three-month follow-up assessment described above. For subjects participating in or recruited from other research studies, follow-up according to those other protocols will continue.

Condition multiple myeloma (mm), Multiple Myeloma, Disability Physical, Physical Disability, Disabilities Multiple, Lymphoproliferative disorders, Lymphoproliferative Disorder
Treatment Supportive care interventions
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04999085
SponsorUNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Last Modified on1 December 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Patients age 60 years or older with a confirmed diagnosis of multiple myeloma currently undergoing or planned to begin treatment for multiple myeloma
Enrollment in an existing registry of individuals with plasma cell disorder ( identifier NCT03717844; institutional protocol # LCCC1728)
Be willing and capable of providing informed consent
Presence of at least one intervenable deficit on the most recent registry
Activities of daily living score < 14\
Instrumental activities of living score < 14\
Timed Up and Go test = 14 seconds (or unable to complete the test)
One fall in the prior 6 months
Eyesight poor or worse
Hearing poor or worse
Number of daily medications 10 or greater
Mental Health Index-13 Depression score 12 or greater
Mental Health Index-13 Anxiety score 6 or greater

Exclusion Criteria

Has dementia, altered mental status, or any psychiatric or co-morbid condition prohibiting the understanding or rendering of informed consent
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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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