OBJECTIVE(S):: To investigate rates and patterns of recurrence in patients following curative intent surgery for colorectal liver metastasis. BACKGROUND:: Outcomes following surgical management of colorectal liver metastasis have largely focused on overall survival. Contemporary data on rates and patterns of recurrence following surgery for colorectal liver metastasis are limited. METHODS:: One thousand six hundred sixty-nine patients treated with surgery (resection ± radiofrequency ablation [RFA]) for colorectal liver metastasis between 1982 and 2008 were identified from an international multi-institutional database. Clinicopathologic data, recurrence patterns, and recurrence-free survival (RFS) were analyzed. RESULTS:: At the time of the initial liver-directed surgery, surgical treatment was resection only (90.2%), resection plus RFA (8.0%), or RFA alone (1.8%). While 5-year overall survival was 47.3%, 947 (56.7%) patients recurred with a median RFS time of 16.3 months. First recurrence site was intrahepatic only (43.2%), extrahepatic only (35.8%), intra-and extrahepatic (21.0%). There was no difference in RFS based on site of recurrence (intrahepatic: 16.9 months; extrahepatic: 16.6 months; intra-and extrahepatic: 16.2 month; P > 0.05). Receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy was associated with overall recurrence risk (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.56), while history of RFA (HR = 2.39, P = 0.001) and R1 margin status (HR = 1.36) were predictive of intrahepatic recurrence. Pattern of recurrence and RFS remained similar following repeat surgery for recurrent disease. CONCLUSIONS:: While 5-year survival following surgery for colorectal liver metastasis approaches 50%, over one-half of patients develop recurrence within 2 years. The pattern of failure is distributed relatively equally among intrahepatic, extrahepatic, and intra-plus extrahepatic sites. Patients undergoing repeat surgery for recurrent metastasis have similar patterns of recurrence and RFS time.
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