Does Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Reveal Disease Precluding Surgical Treatment of Initially Resectable Colorectal Cancer Liver Metastases?

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Abstract

Background

The objective of this study is to determine whether neoadjuvant chemotherapy reveals occult disease precluding surgical extirpation of initially resectable colorectal cancer liver metastases (CRCLM).

Methods

Demographics, clinicopathologic tumor characteristics, treatments, and post-operative outcomes of patients aged 18–80 years, with one to four initially resectable CRCLM, and without concurrent extra-hepatic (EHMD) or previous metastatic disease were reviewed.

Results

Two hundred and two patients evaluated from 2000 to 2010 met study criteria; 88 (43.6%) were given neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy were younger (median 58 years vs. 65 years, P = 0.0096), had shorter disease free interval from resection of primary tumor to CRCLM diagnosis (median 0 months vs. 12 months, P < 0.0001), and had more CRCLM (median 1 [1–3] vs. 1 [1–2], P = 0.0096) compared to untreated counterparts. There were no differences in rates of concurrent EHMD noted intra-operatively and not on pre-operative imaging (4.5% vs. 3.5%, P = 0.7290), greater intra-operatively observed CRCLM compared to pre-operative imaging (25.3% vs. 17.5%, P = 0.2449), hepatic resection and/or ablation (97.7% vs. 100.0%, P = 0.9853), or 6-month disease recurrence after surgical treatment (25.6% vs. 14.9%, P = 0.0882). Only two (2.3%) patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy had disease progression precluding surgical extirpation.

Conclusions

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for initially resectable CRCLM does not reveal occult disease precluding surgical treatment.

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