"Liver-first" approach for synchronous colorectal liver metastases: is this a justifiable approach?

Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, E Floor, West Block, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Derby Road, Nottingham, NG7 2UH, UK.
Journal of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Sciences (Impact Factor: 2.31). 01/2013; 20(3). DOI: 10.1007/s00534-012-0583-x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: To review the outcomes of patients with synchronous colorectal liver metastases (CRLM) treated by the "liver-first" approach. METHODS: Relevant articles were reviewed from the published literature using the Medline database. The search was performed using the keywords "colorectal cancer", "liver-first", "reverse strategy", "liver metastases", "liver resection" and "hepatectomy". RESULTS: There have been four retrospective studies that have reported the outcomes of patients with synchronous CRLM following the reverse strategy. The number of patients included ranged from 16 to 27. One study included patients with advanced rectal cancer and synchronous liver metastases only. None of the studies defined resectability for the CRLM. Overall, the morbidity and mortality rates were low. The recurrence rate ranged from 25 to 70 %. One study did not report survival data, and the overall 5 year survival ranged from 31 to 41 %. CONCLUSION: The "liver-first" approach may be beneficial to a selected group of patients with synchronous CRLM. Patient selection is likely to be determined by their response to down-staging chemotherapy with or without biological agents.

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