Effect on outcome of recurrence patterns after hepatectomy for colorectal metastases

Ann Surg Oncol. 2011 Apr;18(4):1096-103. doi: 10.1245/s10434-010-1409-1. Epub 2010 Nov 2.


Background: Despite improvements in surgery and chemotherapy, most patients develop recurrence after hepatectomy for metastatic colorectal cancer. Data are lacking on the effect of these patterns on outcome.

Methods: A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained hepatobiliary database was performed. Pattern and timing of recurrence and outcome after recurrence were analyzed. Univariate and multivariate analyses of factors associated with outcome after recurrence were carried out.

Results: From January 1997 through May 2003, a total of 733 patients underwent hepatectomy for colorectal metastases. Of these, 637 patients (87%) were included in the analysis, and in 393 patients (62%), recurrence was documented at the time of last follow-up. Initial recurrence patterns included the following: liver only in 120 patients (31%), lung only in 107 (27%), other single sites in 49 (12%), and multiple sites in 117 (30%). Recurrence occurred within 2 years of hepatectomy in 75% of patients and after 3 years in 11%. Margins at hepatectomy, recurrence pattern, resected recurrence, and disease-free interval from time of colectomy to hepatic metastasis and from time of hepatectomy to recurrence were independently associated with survival as measured from the time of recurrence. Recurrence in the lung, resected recurrence, and time to recurrence after hepatectomy were associated with prolonged survival as measured from the time of hepatectomy and the time of recurrence.

Conclusions: The timing and pattern of recurrence after hepatic resection for metastatic colorectal cancer are important predictors of long-term survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hepatectomy*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality*
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult