Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. email@example.com
Surgical treatment of colorectal liver metastases has become increasingly aggressive. The influence of this more active surgical approach on patients' health-related quality of life (HRQoL) has hardly been evaluated. This study investigated the impact of surgical and systemic treatment on HRQoL in patients undergoing hepatic resection for colorectal metastases.A total of 145 patients with colorectal liver metastases were entered prospectively into the study. Based on HRQoL values derived from the EuroQol-5D, health summary measures were calculated to express the overall impact on four distinct clinical states. The HRQoL instrument was used at baseline, 3 and 6 weeks after surgery, and every 3 months thereafter for up to 3 years.Patients showed a clear deterioration in HRQoL in the first weeks after surgery, followed by a recovery to baseline levels at 3 months after potentially curative surgery. In contrast, a sustained decline was noted when initial surgery for colorectal liver metastases was considered futile and palliative chemotherapy was started immediately. Three years after initial surgery, there were distinct differences in HRQoL between patients with or without recurrence. The latter group still had HRQoL scores at baseline levels, whereas patients with tumour recurrence showed a significant deterioration in HRQoL. Remarkably, there was no decline in HRQoL in patients with recurrent disease who could be treated by secondary surgical intervention.Superior overall HRQoL in the first 3 years after initial successful surgical intervention merits an aggressive surgical approach and intensive follow-up to detect recurrence early.