Liver resection after chemotherapy and tumour downsizing in patients with initially unresectable colorectal cancer liver metastases Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVES: Among patients with initially unresectable colorectal cancer liver metastases (CLM), a subset are rendered resectable following the administration of systemic chemotherapy. This study reports the results achieved in liver resections performed at a single hepatobiliary referral centre after downsizing chemotherapy in patients with initially unresectable CLM. METHODS: All liver resections for CLM performed over a 10-year period at the Toronto General Hospital were considered. Data on initially non-resectable patients who received systemic therapy and later underwent surgery were included for analysis. RESULTS: Between January 2002 and July 2012, 754 liver resections for CLM were performed. A total of 24 patients were found to meet the study inclusion criteria. Bilobar CLM were present in 23 of these 24 patients. The median number of tumours was seven (range: 2-15) and median tumour size was 7.0 cm (range: 1.0-12.8 cm) before systemic therapy. All patients received oxaliplatin- or irinotecan-based chemotherapy. Fourteen patients received combined treatment with bevacizumab. Negative margin (R0) resection was accomplished in 21 of 24 patients. There was no perioperative mortality. Ten patients suffered perioperative morbidity. Eighteen patients suffered recurrence of disease within 9 months. Rates of disease-free survival at 1, 2 and 3 years were 47.6% [95% confidence interval (CI) 30.4-74.6%], 23.8% (95% CI 11.1-51.2%) and 19.0% (95% CI 7.9-46.0%), respectively. Overall survival at 1, 2 and 3 years was 91.5% (95% CI 80.8-100%), 65.3% (95% CI 48.5-88.0%) and 55.2% (95% CI 37.7-80.7%), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Liver resection in initially unresectable CLM can be performed with low rates of morbidity and mortality in patients who respond to systemic chemotherapy, although these patients do experience a high frequency of disease recurrence.


  • Serrano Aybar, Pablo
  • Devaud, Nicolas
  • Kanji, Zaheer S
  • Dhani, Neesha
  • Grant, Robert C
  • Shoushtari, Hassan
  • Serrano, Pablo E
  • Nanji, Sulaiman
  • Greig, Paul D
  • McGilvray, Ian
  • Moulton, Carol-Anne
  • Wei, Alice
  • Gallinger, Steven
  • Cleary, Sean P

publication date

  • May 2014

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  • HPB  Journal