Hepatic resection: effective treatment for primary and secondary tumors

Surgery. 2000 Oct;128(4):686-93. doi: 10.1067/msy.2000.108220.


Background: Hepatic resection is an accepted therapeutic modality for isolated colorectal metastases (CRM) and primary hepatobiliary cancers (PC). Controversy continues regarding the safety, efficacy, and appropriateness of resection for noncolorectal metastases (NCM).

Methods: A retrospective review of 167 resections in 160 patients was performed to evaluate the impact of demographics and perioperative data on survival and recurrence. Statistical analyses were performed by Student t test, analysis of variance, and Kaplan-Meier survival estimates.

Results: Resections were performed for CRM, 110 of 167 (66%), NCM, 31 of 167 (19%), and PC, 26 of 167 (15%). The interval from primary to metastases was significantly longer in the NCM group than the CRM group (34.7+/-45.1 vs. 18.7+/-23.7 months; P<.01). Mean number of lesions was not different between groups; however, NCM were larger than CRM (5.9+/-4.5 vs 4.5+/-2.9 cm; P<.05). Operative complications were significantly greater for PC (54%) versus CRM and NCM (21% and 19%, respectively; P<.01), although length of stay was similar between groups. Perioperative mortality was 2%. Actuarial survival at 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years was CRM 91%, 54%, and 40%, PC 75%, 60%, and 38%, and NCM 68%, 36%, and not available, respectively (CRM vs. NCM; P<.01 at 3 years).

Conclusions: Hepatic resection for primary and secondary malignancy can be performed with minimal morbidity and mortality. Resection of NCM is associated with a lower overall survival compared with CRM and PC. The disease-free interval from resection of the primary to metastasectomy is prolonged and hepatic recurrence infrequent after resection in the NCM group. These results suggest that tumor biology is a critical determinant of outcome after hepatic resection of primary and secondary hepatic tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biliary Tract Neoplasms / pathology
  • Biliary Tract Neoplasms / secondary
  • Biliary Tract Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / surgery*
  • Cholangiocarcinoma / pathology
  • Cholangiocarcinoma / secondary
  • Cholangiocarcinoma / surgery*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Hepatectomy / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome