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What are liver metastases?

The spread of cancer and manifestation of tumors in the liver is called liver metastases.

Liver metastases develop when a primary tumor located in another organ is seeding into the liver. A frequent situation is the development of colorectal liver metastases – i.e. when colorectal cancer is metastasizing into the liver. The tumor tissue in the liver is different from normal liver cells and the tumor is consisting of colorectal cancer cells.

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How to treat liver metastases?

Over the last decade therapeutic regimens have been developed to provide favourable outcomes for patients with liver metastases. Treatment plans are designed to meet individual needs of each person and may incorporate different therapeutic approaches. Treatment options are based on

  • the type of the primary tumor,
  • the number of liver metastases and their location and size,
  • whether cancer has already spread in different parts of the body and
  • the overall health status of the patient.

The planning of modern cutting-edge treatment strategies requires a careful diagnostic work-up and the detailed knowledge of previous treatments. Anyhow, assessment of the individual risk-benefit ratio is crucial for decision making and thus requires a personal visit.
Click here to find the range of therapy options of the European Surgical Centre for Metastatic Disease.

Treatment options: liver metastases surgery

Surgery can be performed to remove metastases from the liver and can provide a favourable outcome. Preoperative application of chemotherapy may reduce tumor size to facilitate and ease liver surgery. The main aim is to remove the tumors (if possible). This can be obtained in one or more operations depending on number of tumors, size and location. However, between surgical procedures additional radiation therapy or chemotherapy might have beneficial effect and may be performed by the specialists of the CCCC.
As much as up to 80% of the liver can be removed but decision is to be made individually and primarily depends on the patient's symptoms and liver function, age and overall health status.