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Ann Surg Oncol. 2003 Jul;10(6):705-10.

Hepatic resection for metastatic renal tumors: is it worthwhile?

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  • 1Centre Hépato-Biliaire, Hôpital Paul Brousse, Université Paris-Sud, Villejuif, France.



Liver metastases of malignant renal tumors are regarded as having an ominous prognosis because they are infrequently amenable to radical surgery and respond poorly to chemotherapy. Little is known of the outcome of isolated metastases to the liver for which resection is potentially curative.


Data on 14 patients with liver metastases from renal tumors who underwent a liver resection in a single center between 1982 and 2001 were analyzed retrospectively.


There was no operative or postoperative mortality. The median survival was 26 months, with a survival rate of 69% at 1 year and 26% at 3 years. The curative pattern of hepatectomy (2-year survival, 69% vs. 0%; P =.001), an interval between the nephrectomy and the diagnosis of liver metastases in excess of 24 months (2-year survival, 71% vs. 25%; P =.05), tumor size <50 mm (2-year survival, 83% vs. 17%; P =.006), and the possibility of achieving a repeat hepatectomy in the case of recurrence (2-year survival, 100% vs. 21%; P =.02) were associated with a better outcome after the liver resection. Four patients were alive without evidence of disease at 6, 12, 26, and 96 months after the first hepatic resection, and one was alive with hepatic recurrence 18 months after resection.


In patients with liver metastases of malignant renal tumors, an aggressive policy for achieving tumor eradication seems to offer a chance for long-term survival, especially after a long disease-free interval from the nephrectomy. However, despite an aggressive policy for achieving tumor eradication, recurrence frequently occurs after liver resection.

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