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J Surg Oncol. 2006 Jan 1;93(1):1-7.

Repeat hepatectomy for recurrent colorectal liver metastases.

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Department of Digestive Surgery, Chu Angers, Angers, France.



Liver resection represents the best and potentially curative treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer (MCC) to the liver. After resection, however, most patients develop recurrent disease, often isolated to the liver. The aim of this study was to determine the value of repeat liver resection for recurrent MCC and to analyze the factors that can predict survival.


From January 1992 to October 2002, 42 patients from a group of 168 patients resected for MCC were submitted to 55 repeat hepatectomies (42 second, 11 third, and 2 fourth hepatectomies). Records were retrospectively reviewed. The primary tumor was carcinoma of the colon in 26 patients and carcinoma of the rectum in 16 patients. Liver metastases were synchronous in 24 patients (57.1%).


There were 25 men and 17 women with the mean age of 63.5 years (range: 34-80). There was no intraoperative or postoperative mortality. The morbidity rates were 9.5%, 14.3%, and 18.2% (P = 0.6) respectively after a first, second, or third hepatectomies. No patients needed reoperation. Operative duration was longer after a second or third hepatectomie than after a first hepatectomie without difference for operative bleeding. Overall 5-year survivals were 33%, 21%, and 36% respectively after a first, second, or third hepatectomies. Factors of prognostic value on univariate analysis included serum carcinoembryonic antigen levels (P = 0.01) during the first hepatectomy, the presence of extrahepatic disease (P = 0.05) and tumor size larger than 5 cm (P = 0.04) during the second hepatectomie.


Repeat hepatectomies can provide long-term survival rates similar to those of first hepatectomies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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