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Ann Surg Oncol. 2009 Jan;16(1):35-41. doi: 10.1245/s10434-008-0190-x. Epub 2008 Nov 6.

Preoperative chemotherapy does not increase morbidity or mortality of hepatic resection for colorectal cancer metastases.

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Division of Surgical Oncology, James Graham Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville, 315 E. Broadway, Suite 303, Louisville, KY 40202, USA.


Hepatic metastasis from colorectal cancer (mCRC) is best treated with a multidisciplinary approach. Conflicting data exist regarding the impact of preoperative chemotherapy on morbidity and mortality after hepatectomy. We hypothesized that preoperative chemotherapy does not adversely impact complications or mortality associated with hepatectomy. A retrospective analysis was performed and included patients with mCRC who underwent hepatectomy from 1996 to 2006. Patients were separated into two groups: those who received preoperative chemotherapy and those who did not. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine the factors associated with morbidity and mortality. Kaplan-Meier analyses were performed to determine disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). One hundred eighty-six patients were analyzed: 112 (60%) received preoperative chemotherapy for a median of 4.2 months. Eighty patients (43%) underwent major hepatectomy. When comparing the two groups, there were no differences in hepatic tumor size (median 3 cm; p = 0.35), type of resection (p = 0.62), stage (p = 0.44) or location (p = 0.10) of the primary tumor, preoperative carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) level (p = 0.80), or number of nodes in lymphadenectomy (p = 0.62). Only number of positive nodes after colectomy (p = 0.02), age (p < or = 0.0001), and combined resection/radiofrequency ablation (RFA) (p = 0.004) were statistically different between the two groups. There was no difference in rates of morbidity (p = 0.81), mortality (p = 0.29), DFS (p = 0.25) or OS (p = 0.30). We conclude that the use of preoperative chemotherapy did not increase the risk of complications or death for patients undergoing hepatectomy for metastatic colorectal cancer. Pre-hepatectomy chemotherapy appears to be safe and is an important part of the multidisciplinary approach for this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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