Use of Oncoscint Scan to Assess Resectability of Hepatic Metastases from Colorectal Cancer

Su, Wendy T.; O'Connell, Theodore X.; Brachman, Michael
December 2001
American Surgeon;Dec2001, Vol. 67 Issue 12, p1200
Academic Journal
Patients with limited hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer can potentially be cured by resection. A number of patients deemed resectable by standard imaging procedures are found to have extrahepatic disease at laparotomy and are thus unresectable. A test capable of identifying these patients would assist in better patient selection. OncoScint (Cytogen Corp, Princeton, NJ) scan targets colorectal cancer by interacting with a tumor-associated glycoprotein. Can OncoScint scan be used to reliably identify patients with extrahepatic disease preoperatively? Between February 1996 and August 1998 eight patients with colorectal metastases to the liver were enrolled prospectively. All patients received preoperative OncoScint scan (indium-111) and underwent laparotomy. The laparotomy findings were correlated with the results of OncoScint scan. In four of eight patients (50%) OncoScint scan showed no extrahepatic disease. This was confirmed at laparotomy. All of these patients underwent hepatic resection. One of eight patients (12.5%) had OncoScint findings suggestive of extrahepatic disease pathologically confirmed during laparotomy. Three of eight patients (37.5%) had OncoScint findings of extrahepatic disease not confirmed by laparotomy. All three patients underwent hepatic resection. One of the three patients is still disease free for more than 48 months after hepatic resection. If OncoScint scan had been used to determine resectability this patient with false positive scan would have been denied a potentially curative operation. Because of the unacceptably high false positive rate the study was terminated after eight patients. Because of its high false positive rate (37.5%) OncoScint scan is not a reliable test for the assessment of extrahepatic disease. Other tests need to be developed to accurately stage extrahepatic disease with an acceptably low false positive rate to prevent exclusion of patients who can potentially be cured.


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