J Cancer 2017; 8(7):1179-1186. doi:10.7150/jca.18091

Research Paper

The Role of Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Colorectal Liver Metastasectomy after Pre-Operative Chemotherapy: Is the Treatment Worthwhile?

Yun Wang1, 2*, Zhi-qiang Wang1, 2*, Feng-hua Wang1, 2, Yun-fei Yuan1, 3, Bin-kui Li1, 3, Pei-rong Ding1, 4, Gong Chen1, 4, Xiao-jun Wu1, 4, Zhen-hai Lu1, 4, Zhi-zhong Pan1, 4, De-sen Wan1, 4, Peng Sun1, 5, Shu-mei Yan1, 5, Rui-hua Xu1, 2✉, Yu-hong Li1, 2✉

1. Sate key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, P.R. China;
2. Department of Medical Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, P.R. China;
3. Department of hepatobiliary surgery, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, P.R. China;
4. Department of colorectal surgery, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, P.R. China;
5. Department of Pathology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, P.R. China.
*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract

Peri-operative chemotherapy has been proposed to improve the survival of patients with colorectal cancer hepatic metastases (CRCHM). However, the role of the adjuvant chemotherapy post-metastasectomy for CRCHM patients who have undergone pre-operative chemotherapy is still undetermined. We retrospectively analyzed the role of adjuvant chemotherapy post-metastasectomy on relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) in 163 CRCHM patients who received pre-operative chemotherapy using a Kaplan-Meier curve and univariate/multiple Cox model. Ten patients with rapidly progressing disease were further excluded in a sensitivity analysis. Seven risk factors (metachronous/synchronous metastases, differentiated grade of the primary tumor, number of metastases, size of the max metastasis, duration of pre-operative chemotherapy, radiologic response and pathologic regression) were used to stratify patients and investigate the beneficial features of adjuvant chemotherapy post-metastasectomy. The results indicated that adjuvant chemotherapy post-metastasectomy prolonged both RFS (median RFS: 3.3 vs. 10.2 m, P = 0.002) and OS (median OS: 28.1 vs. 40.7 m, P = 0.005) in CRCHM patients who received pre-operative chemotherapy. After adjusting for other risk factors in a multiple Cox model, the adjuvant chemotherapy group was estimated to have a 54.0 % relapse-free survival (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.46, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.31 - 0.69, P < 0.001) and a 55.0 % overall survival (HR [95 % CI]: 0.45 [0.26 - 0.78], P = 0.005) advantage compared to patients without adjuvant chemotherapy. Additionally, the benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy post-liver resection remained in sensitivity analysis. After the risk stratification, patients with synchronous metastases, poor differentiation, ≥ 3 metastases per patient, size of the maximum metastasis >3 cm, a short duration of pre-operative chemotherapy, radiologic response and poor pathologic regression seem to benefit more from adjuvant chemotherapy. To sum up, adjuvant chemotherapy post-metastasectomy might be considered for CRCHM patients who have received preoperative chemotherapy, especially for those with high-risk factors.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer, Liver metastases, Adjuvant chemotherapy.

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How to cite this article:
Wang Y, Wang Zq, Wang Fh, Yuan Yf, Li Bk, Ding Pr, Chen G, Wu Xj, Lu Zh, Pan Zz, Wan Ds, Sun P, Yan Sm, Xu Rh, Li Yh. The Role of Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Colorectal Liver Metastasectomy after Pre-Operative Chemotherapy: Is the Treatment Worthwhile?. J Cancer 2017; 8(7):1179-1186. doi:10.7150/jca.18091. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v08p1179.htm