Second Liver Resections Are Safe and Effective Treatment for Recurrent Hepatic Metastases from Colorectal Cancer: A Bi-institutional Analysis

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ObjectiveTo determine the value of repeat liver resection for recurrent colorectal metastases to the liver.Summary Background DataLiver resection represents the best and a potentially curative treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer to the liver. After resection, however, most patients develop recurrent disease, often isolated to the liver.MethodsThis study reports the combined experience of repeat liver resection for recurrent liver metastases at an American and a European surgical oncology center. Patients were identified from prospective databases and records were retrospectively reviewed. A total of 126 patients (American n = 96, 1986–2001; European n = 30, 1985–1999) underwent repeat liver resection. Patient characteristics were similar in the two institutions. Median follow-up from first liver resection was 88 and 105 months, respectively.ResultsOperations performed included 90 minor resections and 36 resections of a lobe or more. The 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates were 86%, 51%, and 34%. There were 19 actual 5-year survivors to date. By multivariate regression analysis (proportional hazard model), more than one lesion and tumor size larger than 5 cm were independent prognostic indicators of reduced survival. The interval between the first and second liver resection was not predictive of outcome.ConclusionsRepeat liver resection for colorectal liver metastases is safe. Patients with a low tumor load are the best candidates for a repeat resection. In well-selected patients, further resection of the liver can provide prolonged survival after recurrence of colorectal liver metastases.

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