Selection for hepatic resection of colorectal liver metastases: expert consensus statement


  • Proceedings of the Consensus Conference on Multidisciplinary Treatment of Colorectal Cancer Liver Metastases sponsored by the Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association and co-sponsored by the Society of Surgical Oncology, the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center held in San Francisco, CA, USA; January 18, 2012.


Jean-Nicolas Vauthey, Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Unit 444, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Tel: 1 713 792 2022. Fax: 1 713 745 1921. E-mail:


Hepatic resection offers a chance of a cure in selected patients with colorectal liver metastases (CLM). To achieve adequate patient selection and curative surgery, (i) precise assessment of the extent of disease, (ii) sensitive criteria for chemotherapy effect, (iii) adequate decision making in surgical indication and (iv) an optimal surgical approach for pre-treated tumours are required. For assessment of the extent of the disease, contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with gadolinium ethoxybenzyl diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (Gd-EOB-DTPA) is recommended depending on the local expertise and availability. Positron emission tomography (PET) and PET/CT may offer additive information in detecting extrahepatic disease. The RECIST criteria are a reasonable method to evaluate the effect of chemotherapy. However, they are imperfect in predicting a pathological response in the era of modern systemic therapy with biological agents. The assessment of radiographical morphological changes is a better surrogate of the pathological response and survival especially in the patients treated with bevacizumab. Resectability of CLM is dependent on both anatomic and oncological factors. To decrease the surgical risk, a sufficient volume of liver remnant with adequate blood perfusion and biliary drainage is required according to the degree of histopathological injury of the underlying liver. Portal vein embolization is sometimes required to decrease the surgical risk in a patient with small future liver remnant volume. As a complete radiological response does not signify a complete pathological response, liver resection should include all the site of a tumour detected prior to systemic treatment.