Clinicopathological features and prognosis in resectable synchronous and metachronous colorectal liver metastasis

Ann Surg Oncol. 2007 Feb;14(2):786-94. doi: 10.1245/s10434-006-9215-5. Epub 2006 Nov 14.


Introduction: Hepatic resection may offer long-term survival for patients with colorectal metastases. However, controversies exist regarding the prognostic factors. Herein, the impact of synchronicity of liver metastasis on patient clinicopathological features and prognosis was evaluated.

Methods: One hundred and fifty-five patients who underwent hepatectomy for colon cancer metastasis, from 1995 to 2004, were enrolled in this study. Patients were divided into two groups: synchronous and metachronous colorectal liver metastasis. Patient demographics, the nature of the primary and metastatic tumors, surgery-related complications, and long-term outcome were analyzed.

Results: Patients included in the synchronous group tended to be younger than those in the metachronous group. Compared to the metachronous group, patients in the synchronous group showed more metastases (P = 0.008) and bilobarly distributed metastases (P = 0.016). Bile leakage was the most common surgical complication. The estimated 5-year disease-free and overall survival rates were 16.8 and 41.1%, respectively. Univariate analysis indicated that synchronous metastases, advanced stage of the primary tumor, bilobar distribution of the metastases, more than three metastases, and colonic versus rectal location of the primary tumor were prognostic factors of shorter disease-free survival, but not overall survival. Multivariate analysis revealed that synchronous metastases and the advanced stage of the primary tumor were indicators for a worse disease-free survival.

Conclusion: The synchronous presence of primary colon cancer and liver metastasis may indicate a more disseminated disease status and is associated with a shorter disease-free survival than metachronous metastasis. These patients may need more careful monitoring and aggressive chemotherapy following curative resection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Hepatectomy
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors