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Hepatic resection for metastatic melanoma: a systematic review

Hameed, Ahmer M.a; Ng, E-Ern I.a; Johnston, Emmaa,b; Hollands, Michael J.a,b; Richardson, Arthur J.a,b; Pleass, Henry C.a,b; Lam, Vincent W.T.a,b

doi: 10.1097/CMR.0000000000000032
Review Article

Melanoma metastatic to the liver has a very poor prognosis, and has traditionally been treated using systemic chemotherapy with limited efficacy. Surgery is increasingly being explored as a therapeutic option for melanoma liver metastases, with varying levels of success. A systematic review was undertaken to explore the short-term and long-term outcomes associated with hepatectomy for melanoma metastases, in addition to identifying prognostic factors favouring increased survival. All eligible studies were identified through an electronic search of Medline and Embase (January 1990–March 2013). Each study was independently analysed by two reviewers, with relevant data extracted and tabulated according to predetermined criteria. Thirteen studies were selected that fulfilled the selection criteria, with a total of 551 patients undergoing hepatic resection for melanoma metastases. Metastases to the liver occurred at a median interval of 54 months. The median perioperative morbidity and mortality were 10% (range 0–28.6%) and 0% (range 0–7.1%), respectively. The median overall survival for operative patients was 24 months, with median survival being greater in the R0 resection group (25 months; range 9.5–65.6 months) compared with the R1/2 resection group (16 months; range 11.7–29 months). Overall median 1-, 3- and 5-year survival rates were 70% (range 39–100%), 36% (range 10.2–53%) and 24% (range 3–53%), respectively. Positive prognostic factors may include single hepatic metastases, a longer time to development of hepatic metastases and R0 resection. Hepatic resection for metastatic melanoma might confer a distinct survival benefit in a select group of patients, although disease recurrence is the norm.

aDepartment of Surgery, Westmead Hospital

bDiscipline of Surgery, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Correspondence to Ahmer M. Hameed, MBBS (Hons), BSc (Med) (Hons), Department of Surgery, Westmead Hospital, University of Sydney, Cnr Hawkesbury and Darcy Rd, Westmead, Sydney, NSW 2145, Australia E-mail:

Received July 15, 2013

Accepted September 24, 2013

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins