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Open Access Research article

Adjuvant therapy after resection of colorectal liver metastases: the predictive value of the MSKCC clinical risk score in the era of modern chemotherapy

Nuh N Rahbari13*, Christoph Reissfelder13, Henning Schulze-Bergkamen2, Dirk Jäger2, Markus W Büchler1, Jürgen Weitz13 and Moritz Koch13

Author Affiliations

1 Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

2 Department of Medical Oncology, National Center of Tumor Diseases, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

3 Department of Visceral-, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technical University Dresden, Fetscherstr. 74, D-01307 Dresden, Germany

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BMC Cancer 2014, 14:174  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-174

Published: 11 March 2014

Abstract

Background

Despite introduction of effective chemotherapy protocols, it has remained uncertain, if patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) liver metastases should receive adjuvant therapy. Clinical or molecular predictors may help to select patients at high risk for disease recurrence and death who obtain a survival advantage by adjuvant chemotherapy.

Methods

A total of 297 patients with potentially curative resection of CRC liver metastases were analyzed. These patients had no neoadjuvant therapy, no extrahepatic disease and negative resection margins. The primary endpoint was overall survival. Patients’ risk status was evaluated using the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center clinical risk score (MSKCC-CRS). Multivariable analyses were performed using Cox proportional hazard models.

Results

A total of 137 (43%) patients had a MSKCC-CRS > 2. Adjuvant chemotherapy was administered to 116 (37%) patients. Patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy were of younger age (p = 0.03) with no significant difference in the presence of multiple metastases (p = 0.72) or bilobar metastases (p = 0.08). On multivariate analysis adjuvant chemotherapy was associated with improved survival in the entire cohort (Hazard ratio 0.69; 95% confidence interval 0.69–0.98). It improved survival markedly in high-risk patients with a MSKCC-CRS > 2 (HR 0.40; 95% CI 0.23–0.69), whereas it was of no benefit in patients with a MSKCC-CRS ≤ 2 (HR 0.90; 95% CI 0.57–1.43).

Conclusions

The MSKCC-CRS offers a tool to select patients for adjuvant therapy after resection of CRC liver metastases. Validation in independent patient cohorts is required.

Keywords:
Colorectal cancer; FOLFOX; FOLFIRI; 5-FU; Leucovorin; Liver resection