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J Am Coll Surg. 1999 Sep;189(3):291-9.

Hepatic resection for metastatic colorectal adenocarcinoma: a proposal of a prognostic scoring system.

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Department of Surgery, the Thomas E Starzl Transplantation Institute, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, PA 15213, USA.



Hepatic resection for metastatic colorectal cancer provides excellent longterm results in a substantial proportion of patients. Although various prognostic risk factors have been identified, there has been no dependable staging or prognostic scoring system for metastatic hepatic tumors.


Various clinical and pathologic risk factors were examined in 305 consecutive patients who underwent primary hepatic resections for metastatic colorectal cancer. Survival rates were estimated by the Cox proportional hazards model using the equation: S(t) = [So(t)]exp(R-Ro), where So(t) is the survival rate of patients with none of the identified risk factors and Ro = 0.


Preliminary multivariate analysis revealed that independently significant negative prognosticators were: (1) positive surgical margins, (2) extrahepatic tumor involvement including the lymph node(s), (3) tumor number of three or more, (4) bilobar tumors, and (5) time from treatment of the primary tumor to hepatic recurrence of 30 months or less. Because the survival rates of the 62 patients with positive margins or extrahepatic tumor were uniformly very poor, multivariate analysis was repeated in the remaining 243 patients who did not have these lethal risk factors. The reanalysis revealed that independently significant poor prognosticators were: (1) tumor number of three or more, (2) tumor size greater than 8 cm, (3) time to hepatic recurrence of 30 months or less, and (4) bilobar tumors. Risk scores (R) for tumor recurrence of the culled cohort (n = 243) were calculated by summation of coefficients from the multivariate analysis and were divided into five groups: grade 1, no risk factors (R = 0); grade 2, one risk factor (R = 0.3 to 0.7); grade 3, two risk factors (R = 0.7 to 1.1); grade 4, three risk factors (R= 1.2 to 1.6); and grade 5, four risk factors (R > 1.6). Grade 6 consisted of the 62 culled patients with positive margins or extrahepatic tumor. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards estimated 5-year survival rates of grade 1 to 6 patients were 48.3% and 48.3%, 36.6% and 33.7%, 19.9% and 17.9%, 11.9% and 6.4%, 0% and 1.1%, and 0% and 0%, respectively (p < 0.0001).


The proposed risk-score grading predicted the survival differences extremely well. Estimated survival as determined by the Cox proportional hazards model was similar to that determined by the Kaplan-Meier method. Verification and further improvements of the proposed system are awaited by other centers or international collaborative studies.

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