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Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2018 May 23;(38):209-219. doi: 10.1200/EDBK_200941.

Beyond the Knife: The Evolving Nonsurgical Management of Oligometastatic Colorectal Cancer.

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From the BC Cancer-Vancouver and Vancouver General Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada; National Institute for Health Research University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre, UCL Cancer Institute, University College, London, United Kingdom.


In patients with liver-limited oligometastatic disease, the goal of treatment can be curative intent. Historically, this was accomplished in patients presenting with upfront resectable disease. The availability of increasingly efficacious chemotherapy and biologic combinations with encouraging response rates led to the potential to convert unresectable disease to resectability. Beyond the backbone of surgery, we now have a portfolio of locoregional strategies to consider.From an interventional radiology perspective, the use of portal vein embolization can facilitate hypertrophy of the liver in anticipation of resection, thus converting unresectable disease to one amenable to a surgical approach with curative intent. Technological advances in liver-directed ablative therapies have afforded the possibility of eliminate radiographically evident disease with the hope for long-term disease control. Advanced radiotherapy techniques are further increasing the therapeutic options for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Improvements in external-beam radiotherapy over the past 2 decades include image-guided radiotherapy, intensity-modulated radiotherapy, stereotactic body radiotherapy, and proton-beam therapy. Finally, selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT) with microspheres labeled with the β-emitter 90Y enable targeted delivery of radiation to hepatic tumors. A coordinated multidisciplinary approach is required to integrate these nonsurgical adjuncts in an evidence-based manner to optimize outcomes for patients with potentially resectable metastatic disease. In this article, we summarize recent developments in systemic therapy, radiotherapy, and interventional liver-directed therapies that have changed the treatment landscape for patients with oligometastatic colorectal cancer.

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