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Cancer Treat Rev. 2009 May;35(3):246-54. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2008.11.004. Epub 2009 Apr 2.

Chemotherapy for colorectal cancer in the elderly: Whom to treat and what to use.

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  • 1Medical Oncology Department, La Paz Hospital, Madrid, Spain.


The median age at diagnosis of colorectal cancer is during the seventh decade, and the incidence of the disease increases continuously with age. However, as the age increases, the possibilities of receiving adequate cancer treatment diminish and the mortality rises. So, there is a huge need for defined treatment strategies in elderly patients with colorectal carcinoma. The geriatric population is a very heterogeneous group where patients with an excellent health status coexist with the patients with both co-morbidities and functional dependency. Therefore, it is necessary to personalize each treatment according to the degree of vulnerability of the elderly patients. It is essential to set up a multidimensional geriatric assessment in order to consider not only the stage of the disease, but also all the factors that may influence the survival and interfere with the treatment. The aim of this review is to discuss the potential benefits and issues of chemotherapy in the elderly patients affected with colorectal cancer.

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