Background: Survivors of childhood cancer (CCS) are at risk for early aging and frailty. Frailty in CCS has been assessed with established clinical criteria, a time-intensive approach requiring specialized training. There is an unmet need for cost-effective, rapid methods for assessing frailty in at-risk adolescent and young adult (AYA) CCS, which are scalable to large populations. Objectives: To validate a sensor-based frailty assessment tool in AYA CCS, compare frailty status between CCS and controls, and assess the correlation between frailty and number of CCS comorbidities. Design, Setting, and Participants: Mean frailty index (MFI) was assessed by a frailty wrist sensor in 32 AYA CCS who were ≥1 year off therapy and in remission. Results were compared with 32 AYA controls without cancer or chronic disease. Measurements: Frailty assessments with and without a simultaneous cognitive task were performed to obtain MFI. Results were compared between cases and controls using a Student t test, and the number of pre-frail/frail subjects by Chi Square test. The contribution of radiation therapy (RT) exposure to MFI was assessed in a sub-analysis, and the correlation between the number of comorbidities and MFI was measured using the Pearson method. Results: MFI was strongly correlated with gait speed in AYA CCS. CCS were more likely to be pre-frail than controls without cancer history (p=0.032), and CCS treated with RT were more likely to be pre-frail than CCS not treated with RT (p<0.001). The number of comorbidities was strongly correlated with MFI (ρ=0.65), with a 0.028 increase in MFI for each added condition (p<0.001). Conclusions: Results from this study support higher risk for frailty among CCS, especially those with multiple comorbidities or who were treated with RT. A wrist-worn sensor-based method is feasible for application in AYA CCS, and provides an opportunity for cost-effective, rapid screening of at-risk AYA CCS who may benefit from early interventions.
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