Background: The doubling times of liver metastases were calculated in order to clarify their usefulness in predicting the presence of residual cancer in the abdominal cavity in patients who had undergone curative resection of primary colorectal cancer.
Patients and methods: Tumor doubling times were calculated retrospectively in 22 patients by serial measurement of the size of their liver metastases.
Results: Patients with a tumor doubling time of less than 92.4 days had a significantly poorer prognosis than those with a doubling time more than or equal to 92.4 days (p < 0.05). Local recurrence or peritoneal dissemination was significantly more likely to occur when the tumor doubling time was less than 92.4 days than when it was more than or equal to 92.4 days (p < 0.01).
Conclusion: The doubling time of hepatic metastases in patients with colorectal carcinoma may be a useful prognostic indicator, with patients who have a shorter tumor doubling time carrying a greater risk of residual primary cancer in the abdominal cavity.