Surgical Resection Preferences and Perceptions among Medical Oncologists Treating Liver Metastases from Colorectal Cancer

Michael A. Choti, Michele Thomas, Schiffon L. Wong, Michael Eaddy, Timothy M. Pawlik, Kenzo Hirose, Matthew J. Weiss, Jonathan Kish, Mark R. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background: Liver resection is a key therapeutic strategy to improve survival in patients with colorectal cancer liver metastases. Underutilization may negatively affect outcomes. Using a Web-based survey and standardized imaging scenarios, this study assessed medical oncologists’ (MOs) perceptions of resectability, preferences for chemotherapy sequencing, and referral for surgical consultation in a static patient profile of good performance status and no extrahepatic spread but varying bulk and distribution of disease. Methods: A total of 190 US-based MOs were surveyed. A single patient profile was created and combined with 10 different sets of liver computed tomographic images displaying a broad spectrum of metastases. Assessments of resectability and ranking were compared with the results obtained from an expert panel of 3 hepatic surgeons. Results: The expert hepatic surgeons designated 8 scans resectable, 1 borderline resectable/convertible, and 1 unresectable. In the 8 resectable cases, 34.4 % of MOS perceived the case to be initially resectable, 41.7 % potentially resectable after chemotherapy response, and 23.9 % unresectable. Increasing number of lesions, larger tumor diameter, and bilateral disease were associated with lower resectability perception (P < 0.01). Among those cases considered resectable by MOs, they preferred initial resection (54.2 %) over neoadjuvant chemotherapy (38.4 %). Initial referral for surgical consultation was generally favored only for cases considered initially resectable by MOs. Conclusions: This study confirms both potential discrepancies between MOs’ and hepatic surgeons’ perception of resectability and underutilization of early surgical consultation for patients with potentially resectable colorectal cancer liver metastases and underscores the importance of an evaluation that includes an experienced hepatic surgeon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-381
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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