Surgical therapy for metastatic disease to the liver

David J. Bentrem*, Ronald P. DeMatteo, Leslie H. Blumgart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


The liver is a common site of hematogenous metastasis. In the past, patients with liver metastases were often deemed inoperable, and medical therapy conferred only minor survival benefit. However, advances in surgical techniques and chemotherapeutic agents during the past two decades have led to effective treatments for selected patients with metastases to the liver. Up to ∼80% of the liver can be resected, and partial hepatectomy is now routinely performed with a perioperative mortality rate of <5%. Surgical resection of colorectal cancer metastatic to the liver results in a 5-year survival rate of 40%. These results are expected to improve even further with multimodality approaches that include newer chemotherapy regimens. Liver metastases from other primary tumors, such as neuroendocrine carcinoma and genitourinary tumors, are also treated effectively with liver resection. The indications for surgical treatment of liver metastases are broadening as a variety of novel therapies are being developed, including hepatic artery embolization, hepatic artery infusion of chemotherapy, and radiofrequency ablation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-156
Number of pages18
JournalAnnual Review of Medicine
StatePublished - Mar 11 2005


  • Chemotherapy
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Colorectal metastases
  • Hepatic resection
  • Metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Surgical therapy for metastatic disease to the liver'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this