Palliative chemotherapy in advanced colorectal cancer patients 80 years of age and older

  • P. Lai University of Ottawa
  • S. Sud The Ottawa Hospital
  • T. Zhang The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
  • T. Asmis The Ottawa Hospital
  • P. Wheatley-Price The Ottawa Hospital
Keywords: Chemotherapy, octogenarians, elderly patients, colorectal cancer

Abstract

Background

Colorectal cancer (CRC) has a median diagnostic age of 68 years. Despite significant progress in chemotherapy (CTX) options, few data on outcomes or toxicity from ctx in patients 80 years of age and older are available. We investigated CTX in such patients with metastatic CRC (MCRC), hypothesizing high rates of hospitalization and toxicity.

Methods

A retrospective chart review identified patients 80 years of age and older with MCRC who initiated CTX between 2005–2010 at our institution. Patient demographics and CTX data were collected. Endpoints included rates of hospitalization, CTX discontinuation because of toxicity, and overall survival.

Results

In 60 patients, CTX was initiated on 88 occasions. Median age in the cohort was 83 years; 52% were men; 72% lived with family; 53% had a modified Charlson comorbidity index of 2 or greater; and 31% were taking 6 or more prescription medications at baseline. At baseline, 33% of the patients were anemic (hemoglobin < 100 g/L), 36% had leukocytosis (white blood cells > 11×109/L), and 48% had renal impairment (estimated glomerular filtration rate < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2). In 53%, CTX was given as first-line treatment. The initial CTX dose was adjusted in 67%, and capecitabine was the most common chemotherapeutic agent (45%). In 19 instances (22%), the patient was hospitalized during or within 30 days of CTX; in 26 instances (30%), the CTX was discontinued because of toxicity, and in 48 instances (55%), the patient required at least 1 dose reduction, omission, or delay. Median overall survival was 17.8 months (95% confidence interval: 14.3 to 20.8 months).

Conclusions

In the population 80 years of age and older, CTX for MCRC is feasible; however, most recipients will require dose adjustments, and a significant proportion will be hospitalized or stop CTX because of toxicity. Prospective research incorporating geriatric assessment tools is required to better select these older patients for CTX.

Author Biographies

S. Sud, The Ottawa Hospital
Department of Medicine
T. Zhang, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Methods Centre, Clinical Epidemiology Program
T. Asmis, The Ottawa Hospital
Department of Medicine
P. Wheatley-Price, The Ottawa Hospital
Department of Medicine
Published
2016-06-13
How to Cite
Lai, P., Sud, S., Zhang, T., Asmis, T., & Wheatley-Price, P. (2016). Palliative chemotherapy in advanced colorectal cancer patients 80 years of age and older. Current Oncology, 23(3), 144-153. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.23.2996
Section
Geriatric Oncology