Outcomes of Resectability Assessment of the Dutch Colorectal Cancer Group Liver Metastases Expert Panel

Joost Huiskens, Karen Bolhuis*, Marc R. W. Engelbrecht, Koert P. De Jong, Geert Kazemier, Mike S. L. Liem, Cornelis Verhoef, Johannes H. W. de Wilt, Cornelis J. A. Punt, Thomas M. van Gulik, M. J. Van Amerongen, Cornelis H. C. Dejong, Michael F. Gerhards, Dirk Grunhagen, Linda Heijmen, John J. Hermans, Astrid Keijser, Joost M. Klaase, Krijn P. Van Lienden, Quintus MolenaarGijs A. Patijn, Arjen M. Rijken, Theo M. Ruers, Rutger-Jan Swijnenbur, Harm van Tinteren, Dutch Colorectal Cancer Group

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Web of Science)


BACKGROUND: Decision making on optimal treatment strategy in patients with initially unresectable colorectal cancer liver metastases (CRLM) remains complex because uniform criteria for (un) resectability are lacking. This study reports on the feasibility and short-term outcomes of The Dutch Colorectal Cancer Group Liver Expert Panel.

STUDY DESIGN: The Expert Panel consists of 13 hepatobiliary surgeons and 4 radiologists. Resectability assessment is performed independently by 3 randomly assigned surgeons, and CRLM are scored as resectable, potentially resectable, or permanently unresectable. In absence of consensus, 2 additional surgeons are invited for a majority consensus. Patients with potentially resectable or unresectable CRLM at baseline are evaluated every 2 months of systemic therapy. Once CRLM are considered resectable, a treatment strategy is proposed.

RESULTS: Overall, 398 panel evaluations in 183 patients were analyzed. The median time to panel conclusion was 7 days (interquartile range [IQR] 5-11 days). Intersurgeon disagreement was observed in 205 (52%) evaluations, with major disagreement (resectable vs permanently unresectable) in 42 (11%) evaluations. After systemic treatment, 106 patients were considered to have resectable CRLM, 84 of whom (79%) underwent a curative procedure. R0 resection (n = 41), R0 resection in combination with ablative treatment (n = 26), or ablative treatment only (n = 4) was achieved in 67 of 84 (80%) patients.

CONCLUSIONS: This study analyzed prospective resectability evaluation of patients with CRLM by a panel of radiologists and liver surgeons. The high rate of disagreement among experienced liver surgeons reflects the complexity in defining treatment strategies for CRLM and supports the use of a panel rather than a single-surgeon decision. (C) 2019 by the American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-532.e2
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • MRI
  • CT

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