BACKGROUND: In patients undergoing two-stage hepatectomy (TSH) for colorectal liver metastases (CRLM), chemotherapy is discontinued before portal vein occlusion and restarted after curative resection. Long chemotherapy-free intervals (CFI) may lead to tumor progression and poor oncological outcomes.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of the length of CFI on oncological outcome in patients undergoing TSH for CRLM.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Overall, 74 patients suffering from bilobar CRLM who underwent ALPPS (associating liver partition with portal vein ligation for staged hepatectomy; n = 43) or conventional TSH (n = 31) at two tertiary centers were investigated. The impact of CFI on long-term outcomes was analyzed by univariable and multivariable analysis.
RESULTS: Preoperative chemotherapy was administered in 91 % (67/74) of patients, and chemotherapy was resumed postoperatively in 69 % (44/64) of patients who completed TSH. The use of postoperative chemotherapy was significantly associated with improved mean overall survival (36 ± 3 vs. 13 ± 3 months; p < 0.001). Overall, the median CFI from surgery to postoperative chemotherapy was 16 weeks (interquartile range 11-31) and was significantly shorter in the ALPPS group when compared with the conventional TSH group (10 vs. 21 weeks; p < 0.001). Multivariable analysis revealed a CFI ≤ 10 weeks as an independent factor associated with improved overall survival (p = 0.006) and disease-free survival (p = 0.010).
CONCLUSION: A short CFI is associated with improved oncological outcome in patients undergoing TSH for CRLM. Decreased interstage intervals after ALPPS may facilitate the timely resumption of chemotherapy.