Treatment of colorectal cancer: hepatic metastasis

Seminars in Surgical Oncology
Y FongA M Cohen

Abstract

Almost one-third of patients dying from colorectal cancer have tumor limited to the liver. Systemic chemotherapy is the appropriate palliative management of patients with metastases to the liver and other sites. For many patients with isolated hepatic metastases, systemic chemotherapy is also the most appropriate treatment. However, results with systemic chemotherapy indicate that one-third or less of patients will respond to such treatments, and long-term survival is rare. In this report we provide information concerning the natural history of colorectal hepatic metastases, followed by the expected benefits with systemic chemotherapy. This information provides background for the regional therapeutic strategies of surgical resection, cryosurgery, and hepatic artery chemotherapy. We discuss the selection factors appropriate for such treatments, morbidity and mortality, and the potential long-term benefits of such approaches. The last section focuses on surgical considerations in hepatic resection and hepatic artery chemotherapy.

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