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Ann Surg Oncol. 2007 Mar;14(3):1143-50. Epub 2007 Jan 4.

Timing of resection of liver metastases synchronous to colorectal tumor: proposal of prognosis-based decisional model.

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  • 1Unit of Surgical Oncology, Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, Strada Provinciale 142 km 3,95 10060, Candiolo, Torino, Italy.



Timing of hepatectomy for synchronous metastases of colorectal cancer is still debated. The aim of this retrospective study was to analyze prognostic factors after synchronous and delayed liver resections to define selection criteria for choosing timing of hepatectomy.


The study was performed on 127 patients with synchronous metastases undergoing radical hepatectomy. We divided patients according to the timing of hepatectomy: 70 synchronous (group A) and 57 delayed (group B).


Overall survival was similar between the two groups (5-year survival 30.8% vs. 32.0% A vs. B, P = .406). The multivariate analysis evidenced four independent prognostic factors in group A: male sex (P = .04), T4 (P = .0035), more than three metastases (P = .0001), and metastatic infiltration of nearby structures (P < .0001). There were no statistically significant prognostic factors in group B. Patients with more than three metastases had a significantly worse survival in group A than in group B (3-year survival, 15.0% vs. 34.3%, P = .007); similarly, borderline significant difference was encountered in patients with T4 primary tumor (3-year survival, 16.7% vs. 60%, P = .064)


Patients with liver metastases synchronous with colorectal cancer with T4 primary tumor, metastasis infiltration of neighboring structures, and especially with more than three metastases should receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy before liver resection.

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