Background: Colorectal liver metastases (CRLM) occur in roughly half of patients with colorectal cancer. Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has become an increasingly acceptable and utilized technique for resection in these patients, but there is a lack of specific guidelines on the use of MIS hepatectomy in this setting. A multidisciplinary expert panel was convened to develop evidence-based recommendations regarding the decision between MIS and open techniques for the resection of CRLM.
Methods: Systematic review was conducted for two key questions (KQ) regarding the use of MIS versus open surgery for the resection of isolated liver metastases from colon and rectal cancer. Evidence-based recommendations were formulated using the GRADE methodology by subject experts. Additionally, the panel developed recommendations for future research.
Results: The panel addressed two KQs, which pertained to staged or simultaneous resection of resectable colon or rectal metastases. The panel made conditional recommendations for the use of MIS hepatectomy for both staged and simultaneous resection when deemed safe, feasible, and oncologically effective by the surgeon based on the individual patient characteristics. These recommendations were based on low and very low certainty of evidence.
Conclusions: These evidence-based recommendations should provide guidance regarding surgical decision-making in the treatment of CRLM and highlight the importance of individual considerations of each case. Pursuing the identified research needs may help further refine the evidence and improve future versions of guidelines for the use of MIS techniques in the treatment of CRLM.
Keywords: Colorectal cancer; Colorectal liver metastases; Minimally invasive hepatectomy; Open hepatectomy.