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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 52

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

Curative liver resection for metastatic breast cancer.
Maksan SM, Lehnert T, Bastert G, Herfarth C
Eur J Surg Oncol. 2000;26(3):209.
AIMS: Hepatic resection is a standard procedure in the treatment of colorectal liver metastases. Liver metastases are frequent in breast cancer, but resectional treatment is rarely possible and few reports have addressed the results of surgical treatment for metastatic breast cancer. The aim of our study was to analyse the outcome of patients with metastatic breast cancer after resection of isolated hepatic secondaries and possibly to identify selection criteria for patients who may benefit from surgery.
METHODS: Between 1984 and 1998, 90 patients with a history of breast cancer and suspected liver metastases were referred for surgical evaluation. Fifty-four patients also had extrahepatic disease or metastases from another primary tumour; multiple liver metastases were not amenable to surgical treatment in 20 patients. Five patients were treated by regional chemotherapy via an intra-arterial port catheter; after liver resection two patients were found to have liver metastases from intercurrent colorectal cancer. Thus only nine liver resections for metastatic breast cancer could be performed with curative intent.
RESULTS: No patient died post-operatively after liver resection. In the follow-up period, four of the nine patients who were treated with curative intent received systemic chemotherapy. At a median follow-up of 29 months, four patients died from tumour recurrence. Five patients are currently alive. Five-year survival in the resection group was calculated as 51% (Kaplan-Meier estimate). Node-negative primary breast cancer and a long interval between treatment of the primary and liver metastases appeared to be associated with long survival after liver resection.
CONCLUSIONS: These observations suggest that careful follow-up and adequate patient selection could offer some patients with isolated liver metastases from breast cancer a chance of long-term survival.
Departments of Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.