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World J Gastroenterol. Jan 7, 2012; 18(1): 25-33
Published online Jan 7, 2012. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i1.25
An update on chemotherapy of colorectal liver metastases
Chen-Chen Wang, Jin Li
Chen-Chen Wang, Jin Li, Department of Medical Oncology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai 200032, China
Chen-Chen Wang, Jin Li, Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China
Author contributions: Wang CC and Li J wrote the manuscript.
Correspondence to: Jin Li, MD, PhD, Department of Medical Oncology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, 270 Dong’an Road, Shanghai 200032, China.
Telephone: +86-21-64433755 Fax: +86-21-64170366
Received: March 31, 2011
Revised: June 24, 2011
Accepted: July 2, 2011
Published online: January 7, 2012

Surgical resection of liver metastases of colorectal cancer greatly improves the clinical outcome of patients with advanced disease. Developments in chemotherapeutic agents and strategies bring hope of a cure to patients with initially unresectable colorectal liver metastases (CLM). Perioperative chemotherapy significantly improves the survival time of patients who receive curative-intent hepatectomy. Even for unresectable CLM, recent studies demonstrated that active preoperative chemotherapy could achieve shrinkage of liver metastasis and thus render some for resection. Furthermore, an increase in tumor resection rate and prolonged survival time among patients with CLM has been observed following the application of monoclonal antibodies in recent years. However, the value of chemotherapy via hepatic arterial infusion is still unclear. More trials should be conducted in patients with CLM in order to improve survival.

Keywords: Chemotherapy, Colorectal cancer, Liver metastases, Resection rate, Targeted agents