n South African Gastroenterology Review - Aspects of treatment of colorectal cancer liver metastases in the 21st century : review

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1812-1659



Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer death in the world and a leading cause of tumour-associated deaths in Western populations. Population-based studies have shown that around 25% of patients diagnosed with CRC will, during the course of the disease, turn out to have liver metastases. Metastases are either detected at the time of diagnosis or treatment of the primary tumour, or during follow-up. As opposed to other gastrointestinal malignancies, for example pancreas, gastric and oesophageal cancer where liver metastases are usually associated with extensive systemic dissemination of the disease, metastatic disease in CRC is in a subset of patients confined to the liver or associated with limited extrahepatic metastases. These patients are potentially curable if intervention can render the patient macroscopically tumour-free. Liver resection is still the gold standard for curative-intended treatment.

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