Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 60, Issue 12, pp 3525–3535 | Cite as

Liver Metastasis from Colorectal Cancer in the Elderly: Is Surgery Justified?

  • Minghao Xie
  • Jinling Zhu
  • Xiaosheng He
  • Zihuan Yang
  • Xinlin Chen
  • Ping Lan
  • Lei Lian



The elderly population with liver metastasis from colorectal cancer has been increasing. As the potentially curative treatment, the role of liver resection in the elderly remains undetermined.


This study provides a meta-analysis on the outcome of liver resection of colorectal liver metastasis in patients aged over 70.


PubMed, Embase, Ovid, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases from the years 2000 to 2015 were searched for eligible studies. Data on perioperative mortality, postoperative complications, and survival were collected.


Twelve retrospective studies with a total of 11,285 patients (2498 elderly patients and 8787 younger patients) were identified. The elderly (>70 years old) were associated with a similar overall complication rate (30.5 vs. 28.0 %; OR 1.08; 95 % CI 0.91–1.28; p = 0.39) and a higher 30-day mortality (OR 1.92; 95 % CI 1.12–3.31; p = 0.02) after liver resection of colorectal liver metastasis (CRLM). The overall survival showed a significant difference in favor of the younger patients (HR 0.76; 95 % CI 0.65–0.89; p = 0.0007). However, with regard to disease-free survival, there was no significant difference between elderly and younger patients (HR 0.93; 95 % CI 0.82–1.06; p = 0.30).


Liver resection of CRLM is relatively safe in carefully selected elderly patients. Liver resection should be offered to selected elderly patients with CRLM.


Colorectal cancer Liver metastasis Liver resection Elderly 



This study is supported by Guangdong Provincial Scientific Technology Foundation (#B2012149), National Natural Science Foundation of China for Young Investigators (#81200332), and Pearl River S&T Nova Program of Guangzhou (#2014J2200040).

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Colorectal SurgeryThe Sixth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Colorectal and Pelvic Floor DiseasesThe Sixth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Guangdong Institute of Gastroenterology The Sixth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics, Basic Medical CollegeGuangzhou University of Chinese MedicineGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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