Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Can we predict toxicity and efficacy in older patients with cancer? Older patients with colorectal cancer as an example
  1. Stine Braendegaard Winther1,2,
  2. Trine Lembrecht Jørgensen1,
  3. Per Pfeiffer1,2,
  4. Camilla Qvortrup1
  5. on behalf of the Academy of Geriatric Cancer Research (AgeCare)
  1. 1Department of Oncology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark
  2. 2Institute of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Stine Braendegaard Winther; stine.winther{at}


Colorectal cancer is a disease of the elderly. As older and frail patients are under-represented in clinical trials, most of the evidence available on treatment of older metastatic colorectal patients with cancer originates from pooled analyses of the older patients included in large prospective clinical trials and from community-based studies. The aging process is highly individual and cannot be based on the chronological age alone. It is characterised by a decline in organ function with an increased risk of comorbidity and polypharmacy. These issues can result in an increased susceptibility to the complications of both the disease and treatment. Therefore, evaluation of performance status and the chronological age alone is not sufficient, and additionally assessment must be included in the treatment decision process. In the present review, we will focus on clinical aspects of treating older and frail metastatic colorectal patients with cancer, but also on the present knowledge on how to select and tailor therapy for this particular group of patients.

Trial registration number EudraCT 2014-000394-39, pre-results.

  • colorectal cancer
  • geriatric assessments
  • older
  • geriatric oncology

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.