Current management of colorectal hepatic metastasis

Skye C. Mayo, Timothy M. Pawlik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


In the USA, cancers of the colon and rectum are the third most common site of new cancer cases and cancer deaths. With improved screening and adjuvant therapy, the survival of patients has increased substantially over the last decade. However, patients with metastatic disease often have limited survival. Hepatic metastasis is one of the most frequent sites of metastatic disease. In fact, 35-55% of patients with colorectal cancer will develop hepatic metastasis at some time during the course of their disease. Patients who are able to undergo complete resection of their hepatic metastases have the best chance of long-term survival. The goal of hepatic resection is to achieve complete resection of all metastases with microscopically negative surgical margins while preserving sufficient hepatic parenchyma. Survival following hepatic resection of colorectal metastasis now approaches 35-50%. However, approximately 65% of patients will have a recurrence at 5 years. Increasingly chemotherapeutic agents are being offered in the preoperative setting prior to operation. At the time of operation, patients with extensive hepatic disease can sometimes be offered ablative therapies combined with resection or staged approaches. Modern management of hepatic colorectal metastases necessitates a multidisciplinary approach to effectively treat these patients and increase the number of patients who will benefit from resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-144
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemotherapy
  • Colorectal metastases
  • Hepatic resection
  • Liver
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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