Background Adjuvant chemotherapy trials provide little information on safety in elderly patients because they exclude them or pool their results with those of younger patients.
Purpose To describe the safety of the different adjuvant chemotherapy treatments used in elderly patients with colon cancer.
Materials and Methods Retrospective observational study of colon cancer patients (age >65) diagnosed in 2010 and treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. Each patient was followed from the beginning of the treatment until the end of it. Demographic data, disease stage, antineoplastic agents and treatment-related toxicities were collected from patients’ clinical histories.
Results 16 patients (5 women, 11 men) were included in the study with a mean age of 75.1 years. 87.5% and 12.5% of patients had stage III and stage II disease, respectively. 6 patients (37.5%) were treated with a combination of 5-fluorouracil and oxaliplatin regimen (FOLFOX), 4 patients (25%) with capecitabine in monotherapy and the remaining 6 patients (37.5%) with a combination of capecitabine and oxaliplatin regimen (XELOX). Adverse events were documented in 100% of patients. 57 adverse reactions were detected, the most frequent toxicities being: neurotoxicity (75% of patients), fatigue and anorexia (68.8%), diarrhoea (37.5%) and thrombocytopenia (37.5%). 54.5% of the undesirable effects were grade 1, 30.9% grade 2 and 14.6% grade 3 toxicities. There were no grade 4 adverse reactions. XELOX was associated with high rates of hand-foot-syndrome (75% of patients) and XELOX and FOLFOX with a high incidence of neurotoxicity (100% and 83.3% respectively). Oncologists had to delay the cycle or reduce the treatment doses in 11 patients (68.8%) and 5 patients (31.3%) had to discontinue the treatment due to the toxicity.
Conclusions A high number of adverse reactions were detected, but majority were grade 1–2. The safety profile of drugs studied in our population is in line with that described in the literature in younger patients.
No conflict of interest.
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