Background: Metastatic colorectal cancer is a major cause of cancer death in North America. Hepatic resection offers the potential for cure in selected patients. We report the long-term outcomes of patients who underwent hepatic resection for colorectal metastases over a 10-year period at a single hepatobiliary surgical oncology center.
Methods: All patients who underwent liver resection for metastatic colorectal cancer between 1992 and 2002 were identified. Data were retrospectively obtained through chart review. Major outcome variables were disease-free survival and overall survival. Risk factors for disease recurrence and mortality were identified by multivariate analysis by using the Cox proportional hazard method.
Results: A total of 423 hepatectomies were performed for metastatic colorectal cancer. Most operations (n = 276; 65%) were major (four or more segments) hepatectomies. Perioperative morbidity occurred in 74 (17%) patients. There were seven (1.6%) perioperative deaths. The disease-free survival at 1, 5, and 10 years was 64%, 27%, and 22%, respectively. The overall survival at 1, 5, and 10 years was 93%, 47%, and 28%, respectively. Multivariate analysis identified four negative predictive factors for overall survival (hazard ratio; 95% confidence interval): a positive surgical margin (2.9; 1.5-5.3), large metastases (>5 cm; 1.5; 1.1-2.0), multiple metastases (1.4; 1.1-1.9), and age >60 years (1.4; 1.1-1.9).
Conclusions: Hepatic resection for metastatic colorectal cancer is safe and provides good long-term overall survival rates of 47% at 5 years and 28% at 10 years. An aggressive approach is justified by the low operative mortality rate and good long-term survival, even in individuals with multiple bilobar metastases.