Background: In this real-life practice study, we aimed to find whether elderly colorectal cancer (CRC) patients in our center were treated optimally and also if this has an effect on overall survival (OS) or not.
Methods: We have retrospectively screened 150 CRC patients older than 65 years, diagnosed in our institution between 2010 and 2018. As study variables, patient characteristics, tumor location, tumor, nodes, metastases stage, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG PS), comorbidities, adjuvant or metastatic chemotherapy regimens, and treatment toxicity were recorded, and the OS rate of patients was assessed.
Results: The median age was 72 (range 65 – 89) years and 48 (32%) patients had metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis. The median OS (mOS) in the suboptimal adjuvant treatment group was 31.5 (range 20.7-42.3) months, whereas mOS was not reached during the median follow-up time in the optimal treatment group (P = 0.036). The addition of oxaliplatin to chemotherapy had no benefit on mOS (P = 0.318). In the metastatic setting, the mOS in the optimal and suboptimal treatment group was 27.2 (range 10.7-43.7) months and 13.4 (range 7.5-18.8) months respectively, and was statistically significant (P = 0.001).
Conclusion: Our study revealed that optimal treatment had a significant effect on the mOS of elderly CRC patients and it was well tolerated. Advanced age alone is not a sufficient parameter for precluding effective therapy in elderly patients with CRC.