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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 24

of 'The role of local therapies in metastatic breast cancer'

Hepatic resection for metastatic breast cancer: a systematic review.
Chua TC, Saxena A, Liauw W, Chu F, Morris DL
Eur J Cancer. 2011 Oct;47(15):2282-90. Epub 2011 Jul 7.
BACKGROUND: Systemic chemotherapy is the mainstay of treatment for metastatic breast cancer with the role of surgery being strictly limited for palliation of metastatic complications or locoregional relapse. An increasing number of studies examining the role of therapeutic hepatic metastasectomy show encouraging survival results. A systematic review was undertaken to define its safety, efficacy and to identify prognostic factors associated with survival.
METHODS: Electronic search of the MEDLINE and PubMed databases (January 2000-January 2011) to identify studies reporting outcomes of hepatectomy for breast cancer liver metastases (BCLM) with hepatectomy was undertaken. Two reviewers independently appraised each study using a predetermined protocol. Safety and clinical efficacy was synthesised through a narrative review with full tabulation of results of all included studies.
RESULTS: Nineteen studies were examined. This comprised of 553 patients. Hepatectomy for BCLM was performed at a rate of 1.8 (range, 0.7-7.7) cases per year in reported series. The median time to liver metastases occurred at a median of 40 (range, 23-77) months. The median mortality and complication rate were 0% (range, 0-6%) and 21% (range, 0-44%), respectively. The median overall survival was 40 (range, 15-74) months and median 5-year survival rate was 40% (range, 21-80%). Potential prognostic factors associated with a poorer overall survival include a positive liver surgical margin and hormone refractory disease.
CONCLUSION: Hepatectomy is rarely performed for BCLM but the studies described in this review indicate consistent results with superior 5-year survival for selected patients with isolated liver metastases and in those with well controlled minimal extrahepatic disease. To evaluate its efficacy and control for selection bias, a randomised trial of standard chemotherapy with or without hepatectomy for BCLM is warranted.
Hepatobiliary and Surgical Oncology Unit, UNSW Department of Surgery, St. George Hospital, Sydney, Australia.