Tumor Biology Rather Than Surgical Technique Dictates Prognosis in Colorectal Cancer Liver Metastases

Georgios Antonios Margonis, Kazunari Sasaki, Yuhree Kim, Mario Samaha, Stefan Buettner, Neda Amini, Efstathios Antoniou, Timothy M. Pawlik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Introduction: The interplay of tumor biology and surgical margin status after resection for colorectal liver metastasis (CRLM) remains controversial. Consequently, we sought to determine the impact of surgical margin status on overall survival (OS) stratified by KRAS mutational status. Materials and Methods: Four hundred eighty-five patients with known KRAS mutational status were identified. Clinicopathologic and long-term survival data were collected and assessed. Results: On pathology, most patients (n = 380; 78.3 %) had an R0 margin, while 105 (21.7 %) had an R1. Roughly two thirds of tumors were KRAS wild type (wtKRAS) (n = 307, 63.3 %), while 36.7 % (n = 178) had KRAS mutations (mutKRAS). Median and 5-year OS of the entire cohort was 65.8 months and 53.8 %, respectively. An R1 resection was associated with worse 5-year OS compared with R0 (42.4 % vs. 57.1 %; hazard ratio (HR) 1.82, 95 % CI 1.28–2.57; P = 0.001). After controlling for KRAS status, the survival benefit associated with an R0 resection persisted only among patients with wtKRAS tumors (HR 2.16, 95 % CI 1.42–3.30; P <0.001). In contrast, surgical margin had no impact on OS among patients with mutKRAS tumors (5-year OS R0, 40.7 % vs. R1, 46.7 %; HR 1.34, 95 % CI 0.73–2.48; P = 0.348). Conclusion: The impact of margin status differed by KRAS mutation status. An R0 margin only provided a survival benefit to patients with wtKRAS tumors. Tumor biology and not surgical technique determined prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - Jul 6 2016


  • CRLM
  • KRAS mutation
  • Tumor biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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