• Vol. 32 No. 2, 196–204
  • 15 March 2003

Hepatic Resection for Colorectal Metastases to the Liver: The National Cancer Centre/Singapore General Hospital Experience



Objective: To review and evaluate trends for short and long-term outcomes of patients who have undergone liver resection for colorectal metastases in a single institution over a period of 7 years.

Materials and Methods: A retrospective review and analysis of clinicopathologic data and outcome of potentially curative liver resection for colorectal metastases in a series of 96 patients from January 1994 to December 2001 was done. Data were statistically analysed. Perioperative mortality, morbidity, overall survival and disease-free survival rates were reported.

Results: A total of 96 patients underwent potentially curative liver resection for colorectal metastases. There were 64 males (66.7%) and 32 females (33.3%) with a median age of 60 years. There was no perioperative mortality. Postoperative morbidity was 7.2%. The median length of follow-up for the entire cohort of post hepatic resection was 29 months with 1-year and 3-year overall survival rates of 99% and 71%, respectively. The disease-free survival rates were 76% and 48%, respectively. Minor resections for the liver metastases showed significantly better overall survival. Primary tumour in the colon compared to rectum, disease-free interval (DFI) <12 months and adjuvant chemotherapy showed a trend towards shorter overall survival. Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels greater than 100 ng/mL significantly shortens the disease-free survival.

Conclusion: Liver resection for colorectal metastases in our institution is a safe and effective treatment option in properly selected patients, which currently represents the best chance for long-term survival and possibly “cure”.

Colorectal carcinoma is the fourth most common malignancy and the second leading cause of death worldwide. Although surgical resection in combination with adjuvant chemotherapy in certain cases provide curative treatment, more than 50% will develop metastases in the course of their disease.

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