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Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Nov 7, 2015; 21(41): 11767-11776
Published online Nov 7, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i41.11767
Colorectal cancer: Metastases to a single organ
Sina Vatandoust, Timothy J Price, Christos S Karapetis
Sina Vatandoust, Christos S Karapetis, Department of Medical Oncology, Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, SA 5042, Australia
Sina Vatandoust, Christos S Karapetis, Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA 5042, Australia
Timothy J Price, Department of Medical Oncology, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide, SA 5011, Australia
Timothy J Price, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
Author contributions: All authors contributed to this work.
Conflict-of-interest statement: Authors declare no conflict of interests for this article.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Sina Vatandoust, MD, FRACP, Department of Medical Oncology, Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, Adelaide, SA 5042, Australia.
Telephone: +61-8-82048997 Fax: +61-8-82044997
Received: April 19, 2015
Peer-review started: April 21, 2015
First decision: May 18, 2015
Revised: June 20, 2015
Accepted: August 31, 2015
Article in press: August 31, 2015
Published online: November 7, 2015

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common malignancy worldwide. In CRC patients, metastases are the main cause of cancer-related mortality. In a group of metastatic CRC patients, the metastases are limited to a single site (solitary organ); the liver and lungs are the most commonly involved sites. When metastatic disease is limited to the liver and/or lungs, the resectability of the metastatic lesions will dictate the management approach and the outcome. Less commonly, the site of solitary organ CRC metastasis is the peritoneum. In these patients, cytoreduction followed by hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy may improve the outcome. Rarely, CRC involves other organs, such as the brain, bone, adrenals and spleen, as the only site of metastatic disease. There are limited data to guide clinical practice in these cases. Here, we have reviewed the disease characteristics, management approaches and prognosis based on the metastatic disease site in patients with CRC with metastases to a single organ.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer, Metastasis, Prognosis, Disease management, Liver metastasis, Lung metastasis, Brain metastasis, Bone metastasis, Peritoneal metastasis

Core tip: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common malignancy. In CRC patients, metastases are the main cause of cancer-related mortality. Cancer spread can sometimes be limited to a single organ, representing a malignancy with a distinct biological profile and clinical characteristics. In CRC patients with single site metastases, the resectability of the metastases and the site of metastatic disease affect the clinical characteristics, the optimal management approach and the prognosis.