Deciding on adjuvant chemotherapy for elderly patients with stage III colon cancer: A qualitative insight into the perspectives of surgeons and medical oncologists

Felice N. van Erning*, Maryska L. G. Janssen-Heijnen, Geert-Jan Creemers, Hans F. M. Pruijt, Huub A. A. M. Maas, Valery E. P. P. Lemmens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: The aim of this study is to identify doctor-related factors determining the decision-making for adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with stage III colon cancer aged >= 75 years. Materials and Methods: 21 surgeons and 15 medical oncologists from 10 community hospitals were asked to complete a short questionnaire including tick-box questions regarding motives for non-referral/non-treatment, consultation of geriatricians, chemotherapy schemes prescribed and an open question regarding tolerability of chemotherapy. Results: 29 medical specialists returned a completed questionnaire (response 81%). The motives for non-referral/non-treatment reported most often were comorbidity/bad general health condition of the patient; surgical complications; and treatment offered but refused by patient/family. 39% of the surgeons and 55% of the medical oncologists reported consultation of a geriatrician in 2-30% of their decisions. CAPOX and capecitabine were reported by medical oncologists as the most frequently prescribed regimens. Factors that influenced the decision for monotherapy or combination therapy were comorbidity; general health condition of the patient; and toxicity profile of the chemotherapeutics. In general, medical oncologists defined grade
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-224
JournalJournal of Geriatric Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


  • Adjuvant chemotherapy
  • Chemotherapy-related toxicity
  • Colon cancer
  • Elderly
  • Geriatrics
  • Oncology
  • Referral
  • Treatment-related decision-making

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