(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Potentially curative liver resection can be recommended for patients with colorectal cancer and liver metastases with the reassurance that most aspects of health are recovered by three months after surgery and maintained for at least one year, new evidence in the Journal of Clinical Oncology published online March 19 reported.

To date, no studies have examined validated disease-specific patient-reported outcomes after liver resection for colorectal metastases, Rees et al. from the United Kingdom and Norway noted. They prospectively measured the effect of such surgery — which is increasing — on both generic and disease-specific patient-reported outcomes in 241 patients with planned hepatic surgery; 9 subsequently had unresectable disease.

Each patient completed the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire–C30 and Quality of Life Questionnaire–Liver Metastases C21 before and 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery; compliance was >95% at all time points.

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Following surgery, 2 patients died, 58 (25.2%) had complications, and 32 (14.9%) had disease recurrence. “After surgery, most functional aspects of health decreased, and the proportions of patients with severe symptoms increased; role function deteriorated significantly, and 30% of patients reported severe activity/vigor problems,” they found. “Functional scales recovered by 6 months and were maintained at 1 year. Postoperative symptoms returned to baseline levels at 12 months, but 32.1% of patients reported severe problems with sexual dysfunction and 11.9% with abdominal pain.”

The investigators note one of the National Cancer Institute’s strategic objectives is “to ensure the best outcome for all after-cancer treatment, including improving the ‘quality of life for cancer patients, survivors and their families,’” they wrote. “This study provides data that can be used to guide treatment decisions, inform consent for interventions, and help us gain a better understanding of the success of treatment from the viewpoint of patients.”