A systematic review of surgical resection of liver-only synchronous metastases from pancreatic cancer in the era of multiagent chemotherapy

Stefano Crippa, Roberto Cirocchi, Matthew J. Weiss, Stefano Partelli, Michele Reni, Christopher L. Wolfgang, Thilo Hackert, Massimo Falconi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Recent studies considered surgery as a treatment option for patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and synchronous liver metastases. The aim of this study was to evaluate systematically the literature on the role of surgical resection in this setting as an upfront procedure or following primary chemotherapy. A systematic search was performed of PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Only studies that included patients with synchronous liver metastases published in the era of multiagent chemotherapy (after 2011) were considered, excluding those with lung/peritoneal metastases or metachronous liver metastases. Median overall survival (OS) was the primary outcome. Six studies with 204 patients were analyzed. 63% of patients underwent upfront pancreatic and liver resection, 35% had surgery after primary chemotherapy with strict selection criteria and 2% had an inverse approach (liver surgery first). 38 patients (18.5%) did not undergo any liver resection since metastases disappeared after chemotherapy. Postoperative mortality was low (< 2%). Median OS ranged from 7.6 to 14.5 months after upfront pancreatic/liver resection and from 34 to 56 months in those undergoing preoperative treatment. This systematic review suggests that surgical resection of pancreatic cancer with synchronous liver oligometastases is safe, and it can be associated with improved survival, providing a careful selection of patients after primary chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUpdates in Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020



  • Chemotherapy
  • Liver
  • Metastases
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Surgery
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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