Aging Trajectories in Cancer Survivors

The Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) is interested in better understanding the short- and long-term effects of cancer and its treatment on aging trajectories during survivorship.

Areas of Research Emphasis

  • Identification of aging phenotypes in cancer survivors and mechanisms underlying the emergent phenomena
  • Development of methodological and measurement approaches to the identification of aging trajectories during cancer survivorship
  • Development of interventions to prevent, ameliorate, or rehabilitate aging-related consequences of treatment among cancer survivors
  • Use of population-based data and existing data resources to address cancer survivorship and aging hypotheses
  • Use of patient-generated data to stratify risk, support decision-making, and optimize cancer and aging outcomes in cancer survivors
  • Implications of aging-related changes in body composition, stress, medication use, environmental exposures, oral environment, and lifestyle behaviors such as physical activity, diet, and sleep patterns for cancer risk and outcomes
  • Measurement and surveillance of biological, behavioral (e.g., energy balance), and psychosocial (e.g., depression, isolation) risk factors for multimorbidity in cancer survivors
  • Inclusion of older adults in intervention and observational studies of survivorship

Articles and Publications

Mandelblatt JS, Ahles TA, Lippman ME, Isaacs C, Adams-Campbell L, Saykin AJ, Cohen HJ, Carroll J. Applying a Life Course Biological Age Framework to Improving the Care of Individuals With Adult Cancers: Review and Research Recommendations. JAMA Oncol. 2021 Aug 5. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.1160.

Siddique A, Simonsick EM, Gallicchio L. Functional decline among older cancer survivors in the Baltimore longitudinal study of aging. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2021 Aug 3. doi: 10.1111/jgs.17369

Development of Exercise as Interception Therapy for Cancer: A Review. Iyengar NM, Jones LW. JAMA Oncology, 2019. DOI: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.2585.

The challenging landscape of cancer and aging: Charting a way forward. Sharpless N. Cancer Currents Blog, National Cancer Institute, 2018.

Breast cancer treatment and its effects on aging. Chang L, Weiner LS, Hartman SJ, Horvath S, Jeste D, Mischel PS, Kado DM. Journal of Geriatric Oncology, 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.jgo.2018.07.010.

Premature physiologic aging as a paradigm for understanding increased risk of adverse health across the lifespan of survivors of childhood cancer. Ness KK, Kirkland JL, Gramatges MM, Wang Z, Kundu M, McCastlain K, Li-Harms X, Zhang J, Tchkonia T, Pluijm SMF, Armstrong GT. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.jgo.2018.07.010.

Biology of premature ageing in survivors of cancer. Cupit-Link MC, Kirkland JL, Ness KK, Armstrong GT, Tchkonia T, LeBrasseur NK, Armedian SH, Ruddy KJ, Hashmi SK. ESMO Open, 2017. DOI: 10.1136/esmoopen-2017-000250.

Disease drivers of aging. Hodes RJ, Sierra F, Austad SN, Epel E, Neigh GN, Erlandson KM, Schafer MJ, LeBrasseur NK, Wiley C, Campisi J, Sehl ME, Scalia R, Eguchi S, Kasinath BS, Halter JB, Cohen HJ, Demark-Wahnefried W, Ahles TA, Barzilai N, Hurria A, Hunt PW. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2016. DOI: 10.1111/nyas.13299.

Reverse geroscience: How does exposure to early diseases accelerate the age-related decline in health? Kohanski RA, Deeks SG, Gravekamp C, Halter JB, High K, Hurria A, Fuldner R, Green P, Huebner R, Macchiarini F, Sierra F. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2016. DOI: 10.1111/nyas.13297.

Accelerated aging among cancer survivors: From pediatrics to geriatrics. Henderson TO, Ness KK, Cohen HJ.  American Society of Clinical Oncology educational book. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Annual Meeting, 2014. DOI: 10.14694/EdBook_AM.2014.34.e423.

Geroscience: Linking aging to chronic disease. Kennedy BK, Berger SL, Brunet A, Campisi J, Cuervo AM, Epel ES, Franceschi C, Lithgow GJ, Morimoto RI, Pessin JE, Rando TA, Richardson A, Schadt EE, Wyss-Coray T, Sierra F. Cell, 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.10.039.

Selected Grants Funded in Areas Relevant to Aging Trajectories in Cancer Survivors

DCCPS supports NCI-designated P30 Cancer Centers in developing new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer. Through the Cancer and Aging initiative, several Cancer Centers have expanded their capacity to conduct research, plan strategy, facilitate professional collaborations, and implement efforts to increase understanding of the role of aging in cancer.

PI Name Organization Name Project Title Project Number
Ahles, Tim Sloan-Kettering Institute Cognition in Older Breast Cancer Survivors: Treatment Exposure, APOE, and Smoking


Carroll, Judith
Bower, Julienne

Featured Grantee profile

University of California, Los Angeles Accelerated biological aging in breast cancer and risk for cognitive and physical complaints


Irwin, Michael

Featured Grantee profile

University of California Los Angeles Sleep Disturbance, Inflammation, and Cellular Aging in Breast Cancer Survivors


Lin, Jenny Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Disease Beliefs and Cognition: Effect on Diabetes Management in Older Breast Cancer Survivors


Mandelblatt, Jeanne

Featured Grantee profile

Georgetown University Bio-Behavioral Research at the Intersection of Cancer and Aging


Mandelblatt, Jeanne

Featured Grantee profile

Georgetown University Older Breast Cancer Patients: Risk for Cognitive Decline


Mohile, Supriya University of Rochester Reducing Chemotherapy Toxicity in Older Adults


Mohile, Supriya University of Rochester Understanding Treatment Tolerability in Older Patients with Cancer  


Winters-Stone, Kerri Oregon Health & Science University Preventing Falls and Frailty in Prostate Cancer Survivors: Get Fit Prostate


Funding for Aging Studies

Understanding the effects of cancer and cancer treatment on aging trajectories and aging outcomes
NOT-CA-21-031 (Notice of Special Interest)
Contact: Lisa Gallicchio, Ph.D.

Research Infrastructure Development for Interdisciplinary Aging Studies
PAR-18-645 (R21/R33 – Clinical Trial Optional)
Contact: Erica Breslau, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Alzheimers-Focused Administrative Supplements for NIH Grants that are Not Focused on Alzheimers Disease
NOT-AG-21-018 (Notice of Special Interest)
Contact: Paige Green, Ph.D., M.P.H., F.A.B.M.R.

Perspectives on Cancer and Aging: The Arti Hurria Memorial Webinar Series

Dr. Arti Hurria, M.D., was a pioneer in the fields of geriatrics and oncology and a BRP grantee and collaborator. This quarterly NCI-sponsored webinar series strives to honor her legacy by creating a community of researchers dedicated to cancer and aging research and building a platform to broadly disseminate their work.

Cancer and Accelerated Aging: Advancing Research for Healthier Survivors

Strategies to Prevent or Remediate Cancer- and Treatment-Associated Aging

This initiative represents a collaboration of the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Aging, and representatives from cancer research institutions throughout the country. It seeks to identify scientific research needs at the intersection of cancer and aging, encourage integration of aging-related endpoints into cancer treatment and survivorship studies, and build a transdisciplinary research portfolio to optimize healthy aging for cancer survivors.

Think Tank #1: Measuring Aging and Identifying Aging Phenotypes in Cancer Survivors

July 25-26, 2018

Meeting Agenda (PDF 868 KB)
Scientific Steering Committee and Invited Speakers (PDF 1.2 MB)
Meeting Report (PDF 2.1 MB)

Measuring Aging and Identifying Aging Phenotypes in Cancer Survivors. Guida JL, Ahles TA, Belsky D, Campisi J, Cohen HJ, DeGregori J, Fuldner R, Ferrucci L, Gallicchio L, Gavrilov L, Gavrilova N, Green PA, Jhappan C, Kohanski R, Krull K, Mandelblatt J, Ness KK, O'Mara A, Price N, Schrack J, Studenski S, Theou O, Tracy RP, Hurria A. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2019. DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djz136.

Think Tank #2: Strategies to Prevent or Remediate Cancer- and Treatment-Associated Aging

February 11-12, 2019

Meeting Agenda (PDF 284 KB)
Scientific Steering Committee and Invited Speakers (PDF 1.5 MB)

Strategies to prevent or remediate cancer and treatment-related aging. Guida JL, Agurs-Collins T, Ahles TA, Campisi J, Dale W, Demark-Wahnefried W, Dietrich J, Fuldner R, Gallicchio L, Green PA, Hurria A, Janelsins MC, Jhappan C, Kirkland JL, Kohanski R, Longo V, Meydani S, Mohile S, Niedernhofer LJ, Nelson C, Perna F, Schadler K, Scott JM, Schrack JA, Tracy RP, van Deursen J, Ness K. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2020. DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djaa060


Last Updated
July 08, 2021