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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2008 Sep;67(3):273-8. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2008.05.003. Epub 2008 Jul 1.

Liver resection for colorectal liver metastases in older patients.

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Supra-Regional Hepatobiliary Unit, University Hospital Aintree, Liverpool L97AL, UK.



Seventy-six percentages of patients with a newly diagnosed colorectal carcinoma are between 65 and 85 years old. A substantial proportion will develop liver metastases, for which resection is the only potential curative treatment. This study was conducted to investigate both the feasibility, and short- and long-term outcomes of liver resection for colorectal liver metastases in elderly patients.


Between August 1990 and April 2007 data were prospectively collected on patients over 70 years of age who underwent a liver resection for colorectal liver metastases in a single centre.


One hundred and eighty-one liver resections were performed in 178 consecutive patients (median age 74 years). Thirty-four patients (18.8%) received neoadjuvant chemotherapy (all FOLFOX) prior to liver surgery and the majority (57.5%) of liver resections involved more than two Couinaud's segments. Median hospital stay was 13 days, 70 (38.5%) patients had postoperative complications, and overall in hospital mortality was 4.9% (9 patients). Overall- and disease-free survival rates at 1, 3 and 5 years were 86.1%, 43.2% and 31.5% and 65.8%, 26% and 16%, respectively. In multivariate analysis: T3 primary staging; major liver resections; more than three liver lesions; and the occurrence of postoperative complications were associated with inferior overall survival.


Liver resection for colorectal liver metastases in elderly patients is safe and may offer long-time survival to a substantial percentage of patients. We strongly recommend considering senior patients for surgical treatment whenever possible.

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