Epidemiology and management of liver metastases from colorectal cancer

Ann Surg. 2006 Aug;244(2):254-9. doi: 10.1097/01.sla.0000217629.94941.cf.


Objective/background: Little is known about the epidemiology and the management of liver metastases from colorectal cancer at a population level. The aim of this population-based study was to report on the incidence, treatment, and prognosis of synchronous and metachronous liver metastases.

Methods: Data were obtained from the population-based cancer registry of Burgundy (France).

Results: The proportion of patients with synchronous liver metastases was 14.5%. Age-standardized incidence rates were 7.6 per 100,000 in males, 3.7 per 100,000 in females. The 5-year cumulative metachronous liver metastasis rate was 14.5%. It was 3.7% for TNM stage I tumors, 13.3% for stage II, and 30.4% for stage III (P < 0.001). The risk of liver metastasis was also associated to gross features. Resection for cure was performed in 6.3% of synchronous liver metastases and 16.9% of metachronous liver metastases. Age, presence of another site of recurrence, and period of diagnosis were independent factors associated with the performance of a resection for cure. The 1- and 5-year survival rates were 34.8% and 3.3% for synchronous liver metastases. Their corresponding rates were, respectively, 37.6% and 6.1% for metachronous liver metastases.

Conclusion: Liver metastases from colorectal cancer remain a substantial problem. More effective treatments and mass screening represent promising approaches to decrease this problem.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant / statistics & numerical data
  • Colonic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Hepatectomy / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Liver Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Palliative Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prognosis
  • Rectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Registries
  • Sex Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome