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Surgery in asymptomatic patients with colorectal cancer and unresectable liver metastases: the authors' experience

Authors Boselli C, Renzi C, Gemini A , Castellani E, Trastulli S, Desiderio J, Corsi A, Barberini F, Cirocchi R, Santoro A, Parisi A, Redler A, Noya G

Received 23 October 2012

Accepted for publication 28 December 2012

Published 27 March 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 267—272


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Carlo Boselli,1 Claudio Renzi,2 Alessandro Gemini,1 Elisa Castellani,1 Stefano Trastulli,2 Jacopo Desiderio,2 Alessia Corsi,2 Francesco Barberini,1 Roberto Cirocchi,2 Alberto Santoro,3 Amilcare Parisi,4 Adriano Redler,3 Giuseppe Noya1

1Department of General and Oncologic Surgery, University of Perugia, Perugia, 2Department of General Surgery, University of Perugia, St Maria Hospital, Terni, 3Department of Surgical Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, 4Department of Digestive Surgery, St Maria Hospital, Terni, Italy

Purpose: In asymptomatic patients with Stage IV colorectal cancer, the debate continues over the efficacy of primary resection compared to chemotherapy alone. The aim of this study was to define the optimal management for asymptomatic patients with colorectal cancer and unresectable liver metastases.
Patients and methods: Patients receiving elective surgery (n = 17) were compared to patients receiving chemotherapy only (n = 31). Data concerning patients' demographics, location of primary tumor, comorbidities, performance status, Child–Pugh score, extension of liver metastases, size of primary, and other secondary locations were collected.
Results: Thirty-day mortality after chemotherapy was lower than that after surgical resection (19.3% versus 29.4%; not significant). In patients with >75% hepatic involvement, mortality at 1 month was higher after receiving surgical treatment than after chemotherapy alone (50% versus 25%). In patients with <75% hepatic involvement, 30-day mortality was similar in both groups (not significant). Thirty-day mortality in patients with Stage T3 was lower in those receiving chemotherapy (16.7% versus 30%; not significant). Overall survival was similar in both groups. The risk of all-cause death after elective surgery (2.1) was significantly higher than in patients receiving chemotherapy only (P = 0.035).
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that in palliative treatment of asymptomatic unresectable Stage IV colorectal cancer, the overall risk of death was significantly higher after elective surgery compared to patients receiving chemotherapy alone. However, in the literature, there is no substantial difference between these treatments. New studies are required to better evaluate outcomes.

Keywords: large bowel, tumor, inoperable liver replacement, palliative surgery, 30-day mortality

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