Hepatectomy is associated with improved oncologic outcomes in recurrent colorectal liver metastases: A propensity-matched analysis

Published:November 23, 2022DOI:



      Following resection of colorectal liver metastasis, most patients have disease recurrence, most commonly intrahepatic. Although the role of resection in colorectal liver metastasis is well-established, there have been limited investigations assessing the benefit of repeat hepatic resection compared with systemic treatment alone for intrahepatic recurrence.


      A retrospective single-institution cohort study of patients with recurrent colorectal liver metastasis following curative-intent hepatectomy was performed from 2003 to 2019. The oncologic outcomes, including post-recurrence overall survival, were evaluated using Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards modeling. Patients undergoing repeat hepatic resection were propensity-matched with patients receiving systemic treatment alone based on relevant clinicopathologic variables.


      There were 338 patients treated with hepatic resection for colorectal liver metastasis over the study period. Liver recurrence was observed in 147 (43%) patients at a median time of 10 months from prior resection, with a median post-recurrence overall survival of 29 months. There were 37 patients managed with repeat hepatic resection; 33 (89%) received perioperative chemotherapy. On propensity matching, there were no significant clinicopathologic differences between 37 patients having repeat hepatic resection and 37 patients treated with systemic treatment alone. Repeat hepatic resection was independently associated with improved 5-year post-recurrence overall survival compared with systemic treatment alone (median overall survival 41 vs 35 months, 5-year overall survival 19% vs 3%, P = .048).


      Disease characteristics of patients with intrahepatic recurrence of colorectal liver metastasis, specifically the number of liver lesions and size of the largest lesion, are most predictive of survival and response to systemic therapy. Patients who recur with oligometastatic liver disease experience improved outcomes and derive benefit from curative-intent repeat hepatic resection with integrated perioperative systemic therapy.
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