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The true survival benefit of different curative strategies involving type of operative procedure and timing for patients with initial noncurative colorectal liver metastases remains uncertain. The goal of this study was to examine the effect of primary tumor resection on patients’ survival and to clarify the predictive factors related to overall survival (OS).This was a retrospective study that included 219 patients with initial noncurative colorectal liver metastases without extrahepatic disease. The clinicopathological characteristics of patients and their survival were examined. Survival analysis was performed using the Kaplan–Meier method. All variables associated with P <.05 in univariate analysis were included in multivariate analysis using a Cox proportional-hazard regression model.The 1-, 3-, 5-year OS rates of patients with simultaneous liver resection were 79.1%, 39.1%, and 28.4%, respectively, and those of patients with staged liver resection were 83.3%, 46.7%, and 36.8%, respectively (P = .380). The 1-, 3-, 5-year OS rates of patients with primary tumor resection were 57.0%, 18.2%, and 12.3%, respectively, while for the patients without primary tumor resection were 38.9%, 5.6%, and 0%, respectively (P = .012). Independent prognostic factors for OS were carbohydrate antigen19–9, primary tumor resection, tumor differentiation, and adjuvant chemotherapy.No difference in OS was observed between simultaneous liver resection and staged liver resection, while primary tumor resection was beneficial to noncurative colorectal liver metastases.