Liver transplantation for metastatic liver malignancies

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Purpose of review

Liver transplantation is a validated treatment of primary hepatobiliary tumours. Over the last decade, a renewed interest for liver transplantation as a curative treatment of colorectal liver metastasis (CR-LM) and neuro-endocrine metastasis (NET-LM) has developed.

Recent findings

The ELTR and UNOS analyses showed that liver transplantation may offer excellent disease-free survival (ranging from 30 to 77%) in case of NET-LM, on the condition that stringent selection criteria are implemented. The interest for liver transplantation in the treatment of CR-LM has been fostered by the Norwegian SECA study. Five-year A 5-year survival rate of 60% could be reached. Despite the high recurrence rate (90%), one-third of patients were disease free following pulmonary surgery for metastases.


Liver transplantation will take a more prominent place in the therapeutic algorithm of CR-LM and NET-LM. Larger experiences are necessary to improve knowledge about tumour biology and to refine selection criteria. A multimodal approach adding neo and adjuvant medical treatment to the transplant procedure will be key to bring this oncologic transplant project into the clinical arena. The preserved liver function in these patients will allow a more deliberate access to split liver and living donation for these indications.

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