Mode of progression after radioembolization in patients with colorectal cancer liver metastases

Colorectal Cancer

EJNMMI Res. 2020 Sep 22;10(1):107. doi: 10.1186/s13550-020-00697-z.


BACKGROUND: Radioembolization is an established treatment modality in colorectal cancer patients with liver-dominant disease in a salvage setting. Selection of patients who will benefit most is of vital importance. The aim of this study was to assess response (and mode of progression) at 3 months after radioembolization and the impact of baseline characteristics.

METHODS: Three months after radioembolization with either yttrium-90 resin/glass or holmium-166, anatomic response, according to RECIST 1.1, was evaluated in 90 patients. Correlations between baseline characteristics and efficacy were evaluated. For more detailed analysis of progressive disease as a dismal clinical entity, distinction was made between intra- and extrahepatic progression, and between progression of existing metastases and new metastases.

RESULTS: Forty-two patients (47%) had extrahepatic disease (up to five ≥ 1 cm lung nodules, and ≤ 2 cm lymph nodes) at baseline. No patients showed complete response, 5 (5.5%) patients had partial response, 16 (17.8%) had stable disease, and 69 (76.7%) had progressive disease. Most progressive patients (67/69; 97%) had new metastases (intra-hepatic N = 11, extrahepatic N = 32; or both N = 24). Significantly fewer patients had progressive disease in the group of patients presenting without extrahepatic metastases at baseline (63% versus 93%; p = 0.0016). Median overall survival in patients with extrahepatic disease was 6.5 months, versus 10 months in patients without extrahepatic disease at baseline (hazard ratio 1.79, 95%CI 1.24-2.57).

CONCLUSIONS: Response at 3-month follow-up and survival were heavily influenced by new metastases. Patients with extrahepatic disease at baseline had a worse outcome compared to patients without.