Treatment and complications in elderly stage III colon cancer patients in the Netherlands

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Background

We evaluated which patient factors were associated with treatment tolerance and outcome in elderly colon cancer patients.

Design

Population-based data from five regions included in the Netherlands Cancer Registry were used. Patients with resected stage III colon cancer aged ≥75 years diagnosed in 1997–2004 who received adjuvant chemotherapy (N = 216) were included as well as a random sample (N = 341) of patients who only underwent surgery.

Results

The most common motives for withholding adjuvant chemotherapy were a combination of high age, co-morbidity and poor performance status (PS, 43%) or refusal by the patient or family (17%). In 57% of patients receiving chemotherapy, adaptations were made in treatment regimens. Patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy developed more complications (52%) than those with surgery alone (41%). For the selection of patients who had survived the first year after surgery, receiving adjuvant chemotherapy resulted in better 5-year overall survival (52% versus 34%), even after adjustment for differences in age, co-morbidity and PS.

Conclusion

Despite high toxicity rates and adjustments in treatment regimens, elderly patients who received chemotherapy seemed to have a better survival. Prospective studies are needed for evaluating which patient characteristics predict the risks and benefits of adjuvant chemotherapy in elderly colon cancer patients.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles