Survival After Hepatic Resection for Colorectal Metastases: A 10-Year Experience

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Metastatic colorectal cancer is a major cause of cancer death in North America. Hepatic resection offers the potential for cure in selected patients. We report the long-term outcomes of patients who underwent hepatic resection for colorectal metastases over a 10-year period at a single hepatobiliary surgical oncology center.


All patients who underwent liver resection for metastatic colorectal cancer between 1992 and 2002 were identified. Data were retrospectively obtained through chart review. Major outcome variables were disease-free survival and overall survival. Risk factors for disease recurrence and mortality were identified by multivariate analysis by using the Cox proportional hazard method.


A total of 423 hepatectomies were performed for metastatic colorectal cancer. Most operations (n = 276; 65%) were major (four or more segments) hepatectomies. Perioperative morbidity occurred in 74 (17%) patients. There were seven (1.6%) perioperative deaths. The disease-free survival at 1, 5, and 10 years was 64%, 27%, and 22%, respectively. The overall survival at 1, 5, and 10 years was 93%, 47%, and 28%, respectively. Multivariate analysis identified four negative predictive factors for overall survival (hazard ratio; 95% confidence interval): a positive surgical margin (2.9; 1.5-5.3), large metastases (>5 cm; 1.5; 1.1-2.0), multiple metastases (1.4; 1.1-1.9), and age >60 years (1.4; 1.1-1.9).


Hepatic resection for metastatic colorectal cancer is safe and provides good long-term overall survival rates of 47% at 5 years and 28% at 10 years. An aggressive approach is justified by the low operative mortality rate and good long-term survival, even in individuals with multiple bilobar metastases.

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