OBJECTIVE - Advances in multimodality therapy have led to increased survival for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, but the impact on patients undergoing resection for colorectal liver metastases is unclear. The purpose of this study was to evaluate patterns of treatment for resectable colorectal liver metastases in the USA over the last two decades.
METHODS - Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database, 1,926 patients who underwent hepatic resection for colorectal liver metastasis between 1991 and 2007 were included and divided into two cohorts: period 1 (1991-2000) and period 2 (2001-2007). Demographic data, treatment patterns, and outcomes of the two periods were compared by univariate methods. Multivariable regression models were constructed to predict the use of perioperative chemotherapy, postoperative complications, and 90-day mortality following liver resection.
RESULTS - The overall use of perioperative chemotherapy was 33 % and did not differ between periods, but shifted from postoperative to preoperative over time. By multivariable analysis, older age, black race, stage III primary cancer, and metachronous disease were predictive of lesser likelihood of chemotherapy use. The use of preoperative chemotherapy was not associated with any increase in perioperative morbidity or mortality.
CONCLUSIONS - Despite increased survival and widespread recommendations for the use of multimodality therapy, the overall resection rate and use of perioperative chemotherapy for resectable colorectal liver metastases remain underutilized and have not increased over time. Efforts to investigate barriers to the widespread use of multimodality therapy for these patients are warranted.