Copyright ©The Author(s) 2003. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Feb 15, 2003; 9(2): 193-200
Published online Feb 15, 2003. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v9.i2.193
Current treatment for liver metastases from colorectal cancer
Lian-Xin Liu, Wei-Hui Zhang, Hong-Chi Jiang
Lian-Xin Liu, Wei-Hui Zhang, Hong-Chi Jiang, Department of Surgery, the First Clinical College, Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150001, Heilongjiang Province, China
Author contributions: All authors contributed equally to the work.
Supported by Youth Natural Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Province
Correspondence to: Dr Lian-Xin Liu, Department of Surgery, First Clinical College, Harbin Medical University, No. 23 Youzheng Street, Nangang District, Harbin 150001, Heilongjiang Province, China.
Telephone: +86-451-3643849-5885 Fax: +86-451-3670428
Received: July 24, 2002
Revised: August 4, 2002
Accepted: August 7, 2002
Published online: February 15, 2003

The liver is the commonest site of distant metastasis of colorectal cancer and nearly half of the patients with colorectal cancer ultimately develop liver involved during the course of their diseases. Surgery is the only therapy that offers the possibility of cure for patients with hepatic metastatic diseases. Five-year survival rates after resection of all detectable liver metastases can be up to 40%. Unfortunately, only 25% of patients with colorectal liver metastases are candidates for liver resection, while the others are not amenable to surgical resection. Regional therapies such as radiofrequency ablation and cryotherapy may be offered to patients with isolated unresectable metastases but no extrahepatic diseases. Hepatic artery catheter chemotherapy and chemoembolization and portal vein embolization are often used for the patients with extensive liver metastases but without extrahepatic diseases, which are not suitable for regional ablation. For the patients with metastatic colorectal cancer beyond the liver, systemic chemotherapy is a more appropriate choice. Immunotherapy is also a good option when other therapies are used in combination to enhance the efficacy. Selective internal radiation therapy is a new radiation method which can be used in patients given other routine therapies without effects.

Keywords: $[Keywords]