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Ann Surg Oncol. 2001 May;8(4):347-53.

Five-year survival following hepatic resection after neoadjuvant therapy for nonresectable colorectal.

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Centre Hépato-Biliaire, Service de Cancérologie Hopital Paul Brousse, Villejuif, France.



Surgical resection is the most effective treatment for colorectal liver metastases but only a minority of patients are candidates for a potentially curative resection. Our experience with neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by resection and five years survival analysis of the patients treated is presented.


Between February of 1988 and September of 1996, 701 patients with unresectable colorectal liver metastases were treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Four categories of nonresectable disease were defined: large size, ill location, multinodularity, and extrahepatic disease. Liver resection was performed in those patients whose disease became resectable. After resection, the patients were followed up every 3 months. A 5-year survival analysis by the different categories described was performed.


Ninety-five patients (13.5%) were found to be resectable on reevaluation and underwent a potentially curative resection. There was no perioperative mortality, and the complication rate was 23%. As of December of 1999, 87 patients have completed 5 years of follow-up. The overall 5-year survival is 35% from the time of resection and 39% from the onset of chemotherapy. Respective 5-year survival rates are 60% for large tumors, 49% for ill-located lesions, 34% for multinodular disease, and 18% for liver metastases with extrahepatic disease. In this latter category, however, a 35% 5-year survival was found when all the patients with extrahepatic disease were analyzed rather than only those for whom extrahepatic disease was the main cause of nonresectability.


Neoadjuvant chemotherapy enables liver resection in some patients with initially unresectable colorectal metastases. Long-term survival is similar to that reported for a priori surgical candidates.

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