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Curr Oncol Rep. 2009 May;11(3):200-8.

Curable metastatic colorectal cancer: recommended paradigms.

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  • 1Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Unit 444, Suite 12.2016, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


"Cure" for patients with stage IV colorectal cancer remains elusive, but for a growing subset of patients with colorectal liver metastases (CLMs), cure (ie, > 10-year survival without evidence of disease) is achieved in at least 17% of resected patients. Candidates for resection include those with limited and in some cases extensive hepatic disease, and in highly selected cases, patients with extrahepatic disease. Number, size, and bilaterality of CLMs no longer stand as absolute contraindications to surgery. Chemotherapy has further advanced the field of surgery for CLMs, enabling an additional group of patients who present with unresectable disease to undergo surgery after downsizing with chemotherapy. Modern surgical techniques and liver preparation allow resection after chemotherapy, with excellent results. This article summarizes the current multidisciplinary approach to treatment of CLMs. The definition of resectability, conversion of unresectable CLMs to resectable ones, advances in surgical techniques, advances in chemotherapy, and predictors of outcome are detailed.

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