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Curr Opin Oncol. 2010 Jul;22(4):364-73. doi: 10.1097/CCO.0b013e32833a6c8a.

The management of resectable and unresectable liver metastases from colorectal cancer.

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Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, New York 10065, USA.



To discuss when and who should get liver resection, how to get to resection and what treatments are useful in the pre or postoperative setting.


Colorectal cancer is a significant problem worldwide, with 49,000 deaths a year in the United States. Sixty percent of patients with metastatic disease will develop liver metastases, and, therefore, the control of liver metastases is an important issue. Liver resections improve survival for these patients, and thus there has been an enthusiasm for getting patients to a point where liver resection is possible. The appropriate timing for resection and how to treat patients before and after resection are important issues. The main themes that will be covered in this review are as follows: who is resectable; adjunctive surgical techniques that can improve resection; how patients with synchronous disease should be dealt with; whether neoadjuvant therapy is useful or harmful for these patients; and when liver resection is contemplated, what is the best approach - perioperative therapy, adjuvant postresection with either systemic or hepatic arterial infusion along with systemic. In unresectable disease, the question is how best to get the patients to resection.


This paper will outline some of the flaws in the studies thus far, and problems for the future including a better definition of which patients are resectable, randomized studies comparing perioperative with postoperative therapy and studies comparing systemic therapy with hepatic arterial infusion along with systemic after resection. It is clear that an interdisciplinary team of surgeons, medical oncologists and radiologists is important to improve results for these patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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