J Korean Med Assoc.  2022 Sep;65(9):568-576. 10.5124/jkma.2022.65.9.568.

Surgical treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer

  • 1Department of Surgery, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Stage IV colorectal cancer (CRC) exhibits heterogeneous characteristics in tumor extent and biology. The overall survival of patients with metastatic CRC has improved with the development of multimodal treatments and new chemotherapeutic drugs.
Current Concepts
Resection of metastatic CRC is performed for liver, lung, or peritoneal metastases. Conversion surgeries to resect oligometastatic lesions have been developed with tumor regression using chemotherapeutic agents. Two-stage hepatectomy has extended the surgical indications for patients with metastatic CRC. Synchronous liver and primary tumor resection can be considered in patients with adequate conditions. Local ablation with radiotherapy can be used to treat lung metastasis. Meanwhile, for treating patients with CRC with peritoneal metastasis, cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy can be considered. Surgical treatments should be performed in patients with symptomatic primary tumors with unresectable metastasis. However, in recent studies, primary tumor resection in patients with asymptomatic CRC with synchronous, unresectable metastases did not show overall survival benefits.
Discussion and Conclusion
The treatment of metastatic CRC is challenging because of the variable tumor extent and heterogenous characteristics. Tailored surgical treatments and multidisciplinary approaches may improve the survival and quality of life of patients with metastatic CRC.


Colorectal cancer; Surgical procedure; Peritoneal neoplasms; Neoplasm metastasis; 대장암; 수술; 복막전이; 종양전이
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