Recenti Prog Med 2009 Sep;100(9):424-33
Oncologia Medica, Università e Policlinico Giaccone, Palermo.
Breast cancer liver metastases (BCLM) are not uncommon (about 18% of cases): although some patients have been reported as still living after 25 months, median survival after hormonal- or chemotherapy is 6-14 months. In recent years, new chemotherapy regimens and molecular targeted therapies have given medical oncologists reason to believe that metastatic disease can be eradicated, or at least controlled for prolonged periods. In an attempt to improve survival, consideration has also been given to loco-regional treatments such as hepatic resection and radio-frequency ablation, which have been associated with better outcomes in selected patients. This review considers the role of two loco-regional approaches in a multidisciplinary perspective in the treatment of single or multiple breast cancer metastases limited to the liver. An expanded role for hepatic resection and ablation is being investigated. We assessed available data in the literature to determine their role on survival outcomes. They suggest that loco-regional treatments might be of significant benefit in a selected group of women with BCLM, but the role of these local treatments in multimodality treatment of liver metastases remains controversial. It can generally be said that loco-regional treatments can improve overall survival, with no mortality and less than 20% morbidity in patients at low surgical risk; however, they should only be considered cytoreductive treatments and, as such, always need to be integrated with systemic therapy.
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