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June 1990

Surgical Therapy for Recurrent Liver Metastases From Colorectal Cancer

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Surgical Oncology (Drs Stone, Cady, and Steele), Division of Hepatobiliary Surgery (Dr Jenkins), and Department of Surgery (Dr McDermott), New England Deaconess Hospital, Boston, Mass.

Arch Surg. 1990;125(6):718-722. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1990.01410180036007

• Forty percent of patients whose disease recurs after hepatic resection for liver metastases from colorectal cancer initially will have liver-only metastases. We have retrospectively reviewed our experience with repeated surgical treatment for liver-only recurrence after previous hepatic resection for colorectal metastases. Repeated hepatic procedures were performed with no mortality in 10 patients. Intraoperative ultrasound allowed identification of three unsuspected metastases and determination of unresectability of two metastases during 11 procedures. Three patients were free of disease at 31, 41, and 48 months from the first hepatic procedure and at 15, 31, and 43 months from the second procedure. Five patients have remained free of hepatic disease. Patients whose initial metastases were less than 6 cm in diameter and had single liver recurrences after hepatic resection appeared to be the best candidates for further surgical therapy. These data and a review of the literature suggest that surgical treatment of recurrent liver metastases from colorectal cancer can be performed safely, and it is associated with long-term disease-free survival in up to 38% of highly selected patients.

(ArchSurg. 1990;125:718-722)