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09.11.2017 | Review | Ausgabe 11/2017

Techniques in Coloproctology 11/2017

A systematic review to assess the management of patients with cerebral metastases secondary to colorectal cancer

Techniques in Coloproctology > Ausgabe 11/2017
I. L. Silva, M. Iskandarani, A. Hotouras, J. Murphy, C. Bhan, B. Adada, S. D. Wexner
Wichtige Hinweise
This manuscript was presented as a poster at the 11th annual meeting of the European Society of Coloproctology in Milan Italy September 28–30 2016.



Colorectal cancer (CRC) rarely metastasizes to the brain. The incidence of cerebral metastases (CM) is estimated between 1 and 3%. Given the improved survival from advanced CRC as a result of surgical and oncological advances, it is anticipated that the incidence of patients with CM from CRC will rise over the next few years. The aim of this article was to systematically review the treatment options and outcome of patients with CM from CRC.


PubMed and Medline databases were examined using the search words or MESH headings “colorectal” “cancer/carcinoma/adenocarcinoma”, “cerebral”/”brain” and “metastases/metastasis”.


CM from CRC are diagnosed on average 28.3 months after the primary tumour. The median survival time following diagnosis is 5.3 months. Surgery (with or without associated radiotherapy), stereotactic radiosurgery, whole brain radiotherapy and best supportive care result in median survival of 10.3, 6.4, 4.4 and 1.8 months, respectively. On average, the 1-year overall survival rate for patients with CM from CRC regardless of the treatment modality is estimated to be around 24%.


The prognosis of patients with CM from CRC is dismal. Surgery may increase survival, but the additional benefit of perioperative radiotherapy cannot be ascertained due to paucity of data. Further studies are required to identify the role of the different oncological and surgical therapies and identify those patients likely to benefit most. Identification of patients who are at higher risk of developing brain metastases may be another important area for future research.

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