Background: This study evaluated the outcome of patients treated tor rectal cancer and synchronous hepatic metastases in the era of effective induction radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Methods: All patients undergoing surgical treatment of rectal cancer and synchronous liver metastases between 2000 and 2007 were identified retrospectively from a prospectively collected database. Three approaches were followed: the classical staged, the simultaneous and the liver-first approach. Results: Of 57 patients identified, the primary tumour was resected first in 29 patients (group 1), simultaneous resection was performed in eight patients (group 2), and 20 patients underwent a liver-first approach (group 3). The overall morbidity rate was 24-6 per cent; there was no in-hospital mortality. Median in-hospital stay was significantly shorter for the simultaneous approach (9 days versus 18 and 15 days for groups 1 and 3 respectively; P < 0.001). The overall S-year survival rate was 38 per cent, with an estimated median survival of 47 months. Conclusion: Long-term survival can be achieved using an individualized approach, with curative intent, in patients with rectal cancer and synchronous liver metastases. Simultaneous resections as well as the liver-first approach are attractive alternatives to traditional staged resections.

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British Journal of Surgery
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van der Pool, A., de Wilt, J., Lalmahomed, Z., Eggermont, A., IJzermans, J., & Verhoef, K. (2010). Optimizing the outcome of surgery in patients with rectal cancer and synchronous liver metastases. British Journal of Surgery, 97(3), 383–390. doi:10.1002/bjs.6947