AIM: The combination of surgery and chemotherapy (CTx) is increasingly accepted as an effective treatment for patients with colorectal liver metastases (CRLM). However, controversy exists whether all patients with resectable CRLM benefit from perioperative CTx. We investigated the impact on overall survival (OS) by neo-adjuvant CTx in patients with resectable CRLM, stratified by the clinical risk score (CRS) described by Fong et al.
METHODS: Patients who underwent surgery for CRLM between January 2000 and December 2009 were included. We compared OS of patients with and without neo-adjuvant CTx stratified by the CRS. The CRS includes five prognosticators and defines two risk groups: low CRS (0-2) and high CRS (3-5).
RESULTS: 363 patients (64% male) were included, median age 63 years (IQR 57-70). Prior to resection, 219 patients had a low CRS (neo-adjuvant CTx: N = 65) and 144 patients had a high CRS (neo-adjuvant CTx: N = 88). Median follow-up was 47 months (IQR 25-82). In the low CRS group, there was no significant difference in median OS between patients with and without CTx (65 months (95% CI 39-91) vs. 54 months (95% CI 44-64), P = 0.31). In the high CRS group, there was a significant difference in OS between patients with and without CTx (46 months (95% CI 24-68) vs. 33 month (95% CI 29-37), P = 0.004).
CONCLUSION: In our series, patients with a high CRS benefit from neo-adjuvant CTx. In patients with a low risk profile, neo-adjuvant CTx might not be beneficial.