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Meta‐analysis of outcomes following resection of the primary tumour in patients presenting with metastatic colorectal cancer.

Published: 31st October 2017

Authors: U. Nitsche, C. Stöß, L. Stecher, D. Wilhelm, H. Friess, G. O. Ceyhan et al.

Background

It is not clear whether resection of the primary tumour (when there are metastases) alters survival and/or whether resection is associated with increased morbidity. This systematic review and meta‐analysis assessed the prognostic value of primary tumour resection in patients presenting with metastatic colorectal cancer.

Method

A systematic review of MEDLINE/PubMed was performed on 12 March 2016, with no language or date restrictions, for studies comparing primary tumour resection versus conservative treatment without primary tumour resection for metastatic colorectal cancer. The quality of the studies was assessed using the MINORS and STROBE criteria. Differences in survival, morbidity and mortality between groups were estimated using random‐effects meta‐analysis.

Results

Of 37 412 initially screened articles, 56 retrospective studies with 148 151 patients met the inclusion criteria. Primary tumour resection led to an improvement in overall survival of 7·76 (95 per cent c.i. 5·96 to 9·56) months (risk ratio (RR) for overall survival 0·50, 95 per cent c.i. 0·47 to 0·53), but did not significantly reduce the risk of obstruction (RR 0·50, 95 per cent c.i. 0·16 to 1·53) or bleeding (RR 1·19, 0·48 to 2·97). Neither was the morbidity risk altered (RR 1·14, 0·77 to 1·68). Heterogeneity between the studies was high, with a calculated I2 of more than 50 per cent for most outcomes.

Conclusion

Primary tumour resection may provide a modest survival advantage in patients presenting with metastatic colorectal cancer.

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