Background: Attempts at identifying prognostic factors after hepatectomy in patients with colorectal liver metastases have not achieved consensus. We investigated prognostic factors ascertainable before hepatectomy for colorectal metastasis.
Method: Clinicopathological data for 149 consecutive patients with colorectal cancer who underwent curative resection of primary lesions and metastatic liver disease at one institution were subjected to multivariate analysis concerning metastatic status and the primary lesion.
Results: Poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma or mucinous carcinoma as the primary tumor (Poor/muc; P=0.026), marked vascular invasion by the primary tumor (V; P=0.002), bi-lobar liver metastases ( P=0.048), and short doubling time (DT) of the liver tumor ( P=0.028) were characteristics assessable before hepatectomy that independently indicated poorer survival. A four-stage classification based on these factors was related to overall ( P<0.01) and disease-free ( P<0.01) survival rates. No pattern of recurrence site was evident in stage I (patients with no risk factor). Recurrence was usually extrahepatic in stage IV (patients with Poor/muc) but favored the remnant liver in stage II (patients with bi-lobar metastases or short DT) or III (patients with V; P=0.037). Stage III showed more multiple and early hepatic recurrences than stage II, and repeat hepatectomy was less frequent ( P<0.05).
Conclusion: Pre-hepatectomy prognostic staging should help to guide treatment of liver metastases.