Is a decline in daily steps during chemotherapy treatment associated with severe toxicities in older patients with cancer? And how do you successfully set up a study with wearables in older cancer patients receiving chemotherapy? PhD student Joosje Baltussen received a grant from Stichting de Drie Lichten to answer these questions during a 6-month research fellowship in Mexico City, Mexico.
As older patients are at higher risk of developing chemotherapy-related toxicities and we face a global lack of healthcare personnel in the near future, studies need to focus on ways to safely manage toxicities at home. A promising solution is the use of wearables, such as physical activity trackers, for the early detection of toxicities. Therefore, our geriatric oncology research group would like to set up a study investigating wearables to monitor treatment tolerability in older cancer patients.
To gain more experience in the use of wearables, PhD student Joosje Baltussen will spend six months at the National Institute of Medical Science & Nutrition Salvador Zubiran in Mexico City under the supervision of dr. Enrique Soto-Perez-de-Celis. Dr Soto-Perez-de-Celis and his research teams are experts in the field of wearables and were the first to set up a cohort study investigating wearables in 120 older patients who received chemotherapy. The aims of the research fellowship are to investigate the association between a decline in daily steps and severe toxicities in this large cohort and to learn from dr. Soto-Perez-de-Celis how to set up a successful study with wearables in older patients receiving chemotherapy.