Background: Synchronous liver metastases are detected in approximately 25% of colorectal cancer patients at diagnosis. The rates of local failure and distant metastasis are substantial in these patients, even after undergoing aggressive treatments including resection of primary and metastatic liver tumors. The purpose of this study was to determine whether adjuvant pelvic radiotherapy is beneficial for pelvic control and overall survival in rectal cancer patients with synchronous liver metastasis after primary tumor resection. Methods: Among rectal cancer patients who received total mesorectal excision (TME) between 1997 and 2006 at Yonsei University Health System, eighty-nine patients diagnosed with synchronous liver metastasis were reviewed. Twenty-seven patients received adjuvant pelvic RT (group S + R), and sixty-two patients were managed without RT (group S). Thirty-six patients (58%) in group S and twenty patients (74%) in group S+R received local treatment for liver metastasis. Failure patterns and survival outcomes were analyzed. Results: Pelvic failure was observed in twenty-five patients; twenty-one patients in group S (34%), and four patients in group S+R (15%) (p = 0.066). The two-year pelvic failure-free survival rates (PFFS) of group S and group S+R were 64.8% and 80.8% (p = 0.028), respectively, and the two-year overall survival rates (OS) were 49.1% and 70.4% (p = 0.116), respectively. In a subgroup analysis of fifty-six patients who received local treatment for liver metastasis, the two-year PFFS were 64.9% and 82.9% (p = 0.05), respectively; the two-year OS were 74.1% and 80.0% (p = 0.616) in group S (n = 36) and group S+R (n = 20), respectively. Conclusions: Adjuvant pelvic RT significantly reduced the pelvic failure rate but its influence on overall survival was unclear. Rectal cancer patients with synchronous liver metastasis may benefit from adjuvant pelvic RT through an increased pelvic control rate and improved quality of life.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging