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Minerva Medica 2017 December;108(6):527-46

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4806.17.05371-X


language: English

Multidisciplinary treatment of colorectal liver metastases

Tobias S. SCHIERGENS 1, Jobst von EINEM 2, Michael N. THOMAS 1, Markus ALBERTSMEIER 1, Clemens GIESSEN-JUNG 2, Maximilian DÖRSCH 1, Christian HEILIGER 1, Moritz DREFS 1, Joachim ANDRASSY 1, Dominik P. MODEST 2, Sebastian STINTZING 2, Markus GUBA 1, Martin ANGELE 1, Jens WERNER 1, Markus RENTSCH 1

1 Department of General, Visceral, Transplantation, Vascular, and Thoracic Surgery, University of Munich, Munich, Germany; 2 Department of Medical Oncology, University of Munich, Munich, Germany


INTRODUCTION: The therapy of patients with colorectal liver metastases (CRLM) has undergone significant changes. Extended survival has been observed to be associated with adoption of hepatic resection and improved chemotherapy.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: This review summarizes standards, developments and controversies on the management of these patients. Literature search was performed with focus on work published within the last ten years.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Patients with CRLM should undergo surgery whenever possible with careful and experienced patient selection as hepatic resection offers the best long-term prognosis. The multidisciplinary approach has markedly evolved and has increased the number of patients in whom curative-intended surgery is possible. Patients with resectable metastases can undergo upfront surgery or may receive perioperative chemotherapy in selected cases, a decision which is under debate and remains individual. Patients with non-resectable metastases that may become resectable upon conversion treatment should receive polychemotherapy with or without local ablative therapy as pretreatment with the main goal of achieving resectability. In patients with synchronous CRLM, the optimal sequence of treatment remains unclear. Depending on the hepatic tumor burden and its dynamics as well as the type and stage of the primary tumor, simultaneous resection or either the sequential “bowel-first” or reversed “liver-first” approach represent suitable options to achieve complete tumor clearance.
CONCLUSIONS: The improvements in the management of CRLM due to multidisciplinary treatment and novel developments are a great example of successfully pushing the boundaries of cure in metastatic cancer. Surgery aiming at complete tumor clearance represents the central instrument to achieve long-term survival.

KEY WORDS: Colorectal neoplasms - Neoplasm metastasis - Hepatectomy - Metastasectomy - Drug therapy

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