Liver resection or cryotherapy for colorectal liver metastases

Seifert, Joachim K.; Springer, Anna; Baier, Philipp; Junginger, Theodor
November 2005
International Journal of Colorectal Disease;Nov2005, Vol. 20 Issue 6, p507
Academic Journal
Background and aims: While there is promising survival data for cryosurgery of colorectal liver metastases, local recurrence following cryoablation remains a problem. We aimed to compare morbidity and mortality, as well as the recurrence pattern and survival after liver resection and cryotherapy (alone or in combination with resection) for liver metastases. Patients and methods: Between 1996 and 2002, 168 patients underwent liver resection alone and 55 patients had cryotherapy (25 in combination with liver resection) for colorectal liver metastases. The patient, tumour and operative details were recorded prospectively and the two patient groups were compared regarding morbidity, survival and recurrence. Results: More patients had a prior liver resection, liver metastases were smaller and less frequently synchronous, morbidity was significantly lower and hepatic recurrence was significantly more frequent in the cryotherapy group. Five-year survival rates following resection and cryotherapy were comparable (23 and 26% respectively), while overall and hepatic recurrence-free survival was inferior following cryotherapy. Conclusion: Cryotherapy is a valuable treatment option for some patients with non-resectable colorectal liver metastases. While survival is comparable to that after resection, higher hepatic recurrence rates following cryotherapy should caution against the use of cryotherapy for resectable disease until the results of randomized controlled trials are available.


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