Comparative outcomes of rectal cancer surgery between elderly and non-elderly patients: a systematic reviewGilles Manceau, Prof Mehdi Karoui , Andrew Werner, Neil J Mortensen, Laurent Hannoun .The Lancet Oncology, Volume 13, Issue 12, Pages e525 – e536, December 2012SummaryElderly people represent almost all patients diagnosed with and treated for rectal cancer, and this trend is likely to become more apparent in the future. Surgical management and treatment decisions for this disease are becoming increasingly complex, but only a few reports deal specifically with older patients. In this systematic review, we provide an overview of published studies of outcomes after curative surgery for rectal cancer in elderly people (>70 years). We identified 48 studies providing information about postoperative results, survival, surgical approach, stoma formation, functional results, and quality of life after rectal resection for cancer. We found that advanced chronological age should not, by itself, exclude patients from curative rectal surgery or from other surgical options that are available for younger patients. Although overall survival is lower in elderly patients than in younger patients, cancer-specific survival does not decrease with age. However, the level of evidence for most studies was weak, emphasising the need for high-quality clinical trials for this population.