Should Surgical Treatment Be Provided to Patients with Colorectal Cancer Who Are Aged 90 Years or Older?

Tzu Chun Chen, Jin Tung Liang, Tung Cheng Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: The number of patients aged ≥ 90 years is increasing worldwide; however, the treatment guidelines for colorectal cancer in elderly patients remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate the clinical outcomes of patients with primary colorectal cancer aged ≥ 90 years. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 100 patients (aged ≥ 90 years) with primary colorectal adenocarcinoma. Their demographic and clinical characteristics and surgical outcomes were assessed. Results: The patients who underwent tumor resections (n = 71) showed longer overall and cancer-specific survival than those who underwent non-operative treatments (n = 29) (median overall survival time: 23.92 months vs. 2.99 months, P < 0.0001). Age, body mass index, performance status, advanced cancer stage (stages 3 and 4), and treatment strategy were identified as risk factors, prognostic factors, and predictors of overall survival. No significant differences in the postoperative morbidity rate, in-hospital mortality rate, and survival time were found between the elective laparoscopic (n = 27) and elective open (n = 37) surgery subgroups. However, the in-hospital mortality rate was 6.25% (4/64) in the patients who underwent elective open surgeries and 42.9% (3/7) in those who underwent emergent open surgeries (p = 0.0179). Conclusions: In clinical practice, surgical treatment should not be denied to patients with primary colorectal cancer aged ≥ 90 years. However, the high complication and mortality rates for emergency surgeries act as a deterrent. Further studies to eliminate the bias between operative and non-operative groups may be needed to validate our results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jun 25 2018



  • Colorectal cancer
  • Elderly
  • In-hospital mortality
  • Nonagenarians
  • Postoperative complications
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology

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