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Tunis Med. 2013 Jan;91(1):1-5.

Management of liver metastases from gastric carcinoma: where is the evidence?

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Department "B" of General Surgery, Charles Nicolle's Hospital, Tunis El Manar University, Faculty of Medicine of Tunis.



Liver metastases of gastric carcinoma are often the synonym of advanced neoplastic disease which has long justified the indication of palliative chemotherapy. However, inspired by the good results of the management of liver metastases of colorectal cancers,several surgeons have focused on the treatment of liver metastases of gastric carcinoma. The different therapeutic modalities used are surgery, radiofrequency ablation, hepatic arterial infusion and palliative gastrectomy.


To provide evidence based answer to the following questions regarding liver metastases from gastric carcinoma: 1. What is the indication of surgery? 2. Does radiofrequency ablation useful? 3. What is the contribution of the hepatic arterial infusion? 4. Is there any benefit to palliative gastrectomy?


A literature search on PubMed database over the period from January 1990 to December 2011 was conducted using as key words "gastric cancer" and "liver metastases".


Surgery of a single liver metastasis smaller than 5 cm and not associated with another metastatic site offers better results in terms of 5-year survival rate than palliative chemotherapy. Intra hepatic arterial chemotherapy offers an alternative to surgery in inoperable patients and can be proposed as neo adjuvant treatment to surgery. The interest of radiofrequency ablation and palliative gastrectomy remains unproven.


Surgery is a good indication for single liver metastasis of gastric carcinoma less than 5 cm and not associated with another extra hepatic metastasis.

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