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Eur J Surg Oncol. 2009 Oct;35(10):1092-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2009.02.017. Epub 2009 May 21.

Combined liver surgery and RFA for patients with gastroenteropancreatic endocrine tumors presenting with more than 15 metastases to the liver.

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  • 1Institut Gustave Roussy, 39 Rue Camille Desmoulins, 94805 Villejuif, Cédex, France.



The aim of this study was to report the feasibility and early survival results of liver metastases (LM) resection combining cytoreductive surgery and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) during a one-step procedure, in patients presenting more than 15 bilateral LM from well-differentiated endocrine carcinoma. It is an extensive application of the current guidelines.


In this retrospective review of a prospectively collected database, we used a combination of hepatectomy to treat large or contiguous LM, and extensively used multiple RFA to treat the remaining LM which were smaller than 2.5 cm. Patients were selected based on a low natural tumor burden slope, and the technical feasibility of treating all the detectable LM.


From January 2002 to May 2007, 16 patients with a median of 23 LM per patient (mean number: 25.7 + or -12; range16-89) underwent this procedure. A mean of 15 + or - 9 LM per patient were surgically removed and a mean of 12 + or - 8 (median of 10) LM per patient were RF ablated. No mortality occurred. Morbidity was observed in 11 patients (69%). The 3-year overall survival and disease-free survival rates were similar to those observed in our preliminary series of 47 hepatectomized patients with a median of 7 LM per patient.


This new one-step combined technique allowed us to apply an "upgraded" therapeutic approach to a selection of patients presenting a median of 23 LM per patient and to improve their prognosis, putting it on par with that obtained by conventional hepatectomy.

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