Integrated molecular subtyping defines a curable oligometastatic state in colorectal liver metastasis

Nat Commun. 2018 May 4;9(1):1793. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04278-6.


The oligometastasis hypothesis suggests a spectrum of metastatic virulence where some metastases are limited in extent and curable with focal therapies. A subset of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer achieves prolonged survival after resection of liver metastases consistent with oligometastasis. Here we define three robust subtypes of de novo colorectal liver metastasis through integrative molecular analysis. Patients with metastases exhibiting MSI-independent immune activation experience the most favorable survival. Subtypes with adverse outcomes demonstrate VEGFA amplification in concert with (i) stromal, mesenchymal, and angiogenic signatures, or (ii) exclusive NOTCH1 and PIK3C2B mutations with E2F/MYC activation. Molecular subtypes complement clinical risk stratification to distinguish low-risk, intermediate-risk, and high-risk patients with 10-year overall survivals of 94%, 45%, and 19%, respectively. Our findings provide a framework for integrated classification and treatment of metastasis and support the biological basis of curable oligometastatic colorectal cancer. These concepts may be applicable to many patients with metastatic cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Class II Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Female
  • Gene Amplification*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Receptor, Notch1 / genetics
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / genetics


  • NOTCH1 protein, human
  • Receptor, Notch1
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Class II Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • PIK3C2B protein, human