Chemotherapy for elderly patients with advanced colorectal carcinoma

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There is an increasing need to redefine treatment strategies in elderly patients with advanced colorectal carcinoma since they constitute more than 50% of newly diagnosed patients. Taking into account that the vast majority of clinical trials in advanced colorectal carcinoma include patients up to 75 years old, it seems reasonable to consider those patients over 75 years as elderly. In general, 20% of patients have favorable factors (fewer than four liver nodules less than 5 cm in size) and are suitable for local treatments (surgery or local-ablative therapies). Additionally, 40% of patients have poor performance status or are severely disabled owing to geriatric syndromes and/or comorbid diseases (advanced stage) that preclude any treatment strategies. The remainder of patients (fit elderly patients not suitable for radical treatments) constitute the focus of this review.

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