, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 295-304
Date: 05 Oct 2012

Up-front Hepatic Resection for Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Results in Favorable Long-term Survival

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Hepatic metastasis from colorectal cancer (CRC) is best managed with a multimodal approach; however, the optimal timing of liver resection in relation to administration of perioperative chemotherapy remains unclear. Our strategy has been to offer up-front liver resection for patients with resectable hepatic metastases, followed by post–liver resection chemotherapy. We report the outcomes of patients based on this surgical approach.


A retrospective review of all patients undergoing liver resection for CRC metastases over a 5-year period (2002–2007) was performed. Associations between clinicopathologic factors and survival were evaluated by the Cox proportional hazard method.


A total of 320 patients underwent 336 liver resections. Median follow-up was 40 (range 8–80) months. The majority (n = 195, 60.9 %) had metachronous disease, and most patients (n = 286, 85 %) had a major hepatectomy (>3 segments). Thirty-six patients (11 %) received preoperative chemotherapy, predominantly for downstaging unresectable disease. Ninety-day mortality was 2.1 %, and perioperative morbidity occurred in 68 patients (20.2 %). Actual disease-free survival at 3 and 5 years was 46.2 % and 42 %, respectively. Actual overall survival (OS) at 3 and 5 years was 63.7 % and 55 %, respectively. Multivariate analysis identified four factors that were independently associated with differences in OS (hazard ratio; 95 % confidence interval): size of metastasis >6 cm (2.2; 1.3–3.5), positive lymph node status of the primary CRC (N1 (2.0; 1.0–3.8), N2 (2.4; 1.2–4.9)), synchronous disease (2.1; 1.3–3.5), and treatment with chemotherapy after liver resection (0.42; 0.23–0.75).


Up-front surgery for patients with resectable CRC liver metastases, followed by chemotherapy, can lead to favorable OS.