The management of complicated colorectal cancer in older patients in a global perspective after COVID-19: the CO-OLDER WSES project

CO-OLDER Collaborators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Colorectal (CRC) cancer is becoming a disease of the elderly. Ageing is the most significant risk factor for presenting CRC. Early diagnosis of CRC and management is the best way in achieving good outcomes and longer survival but patients aged ≥75 years are usually not screened for CRC. This group of patients is often required to be managed when they are symptomatic in the emergency setting with high morbidity and mortality rates. Our main aim is to provide clinical data about the management of elderly patients presenting complicated colorectal cancer who required emergency surgical management to improve their care. METHODS: The management of complicated COlorectal cancer in OLDER patients (CO-OLDER; ID: NCT05788224; evaluated by the local ethical committee CPP EST III-France with the national number 2023-A01094-41) in the emergency setting project provides carrying out an observational multicenter international cohort study aimed to collect data about patients aged ≥75 years to assess modifiable risk factors for negative outcomes and mortality correlated to the emergency surgical management of this group of patients at risk admitted with a complicated (obstructed and perforated) CRC. The CO-OLDER protocol was approved by Institutional Review Board and released. Each CO-OLDER collaborator is asked to enroll ≥25 patients over a study period from 1st January 2018 to 30th October 2023. Data will be analyzed comparing two periods of study: before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. A sample size of 240 prospectively enrolled patients with obstructed colorectal cancer in a 5-month period was calculated. The secured database for entering anonymized data will be available for the period necessary to achieve the highest possible participation. RESULTS: One hundred eighty hospitals asked to be a CO-OLDER collaborator, with 36 potentially involved countries over the world. CONCLUSIONS: The CO-OLDER project aims to improve the management of elderly people presenting with a complicated colorectal cancer in the emergency setting. Our observational global study can provide valuable data on the effectiveness of different management strategies in improving primary assessment, management and outcomes for elderly patients with obstructed or perforated colorectal cancer in the emergency setting, guiding clinical decision-making. This information can help healthcare providers make informed decisions about the best course of action for these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-285
Number of pages13
JournalMinerva Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • Aged
  • Colorectal neoplasms
  • Emergencies
  • Frailty
  • Medical futility
  • Operative surgical procedures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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