Resection of single metachronous liver metastases from breast cancer stage I-II yield excellent overall and disease-free survival. Single center experience and review of the literature

Dig Surg. 2015;32(1):52-9. doi: 10.1159/000375132. Epub 2015 Feb 11.


Purpose: Improved survival after liver resection for breast cancer liver metastases (BCLM) has been proven; however, there is still controversy on predictive factors influencing outcomes. The analysis of factors related to primary and metastatic cancer eventually influencing long-term outcomes and a review of the literature are presented in this report.

Methods: Twenty-seven patients diagnosed with metachronous BCLM between 1996 and 2013 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients who had a minimum disease-free interval between primary tumor and liver metastasis of 12 months, no more than 3 liver lesions, no macroscopic extra-hepatic disease and in which systemic therapy showed a good response were included.

Results: Twenty-two patients (82%) were initially diagnosed with a stage I-II disease. Twelve patients presented with multiple liver metastases. The 5 years overall survival (OS) rate was 78%, while the 5 years disease-free survival (DFS) rate was 36%. Initial tumor stage III-IV at first diagnosis and number of metastases >1 was significantly associated with a shorter DFS at multivariate analysis (p = 0.03 and p = 0.04 respectively). Patients with multiple lesions had a median DFS of 15 months compared to 47 months in patients with a single lesion (p = 0.03).

Conclusions: Resection of single BCLM from primary stage I-II cancer offers very good long-term survival rates and a low morbidity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Hepatectomy
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / mortality
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis