Selected patients with metastatic melanoma may benefit from liver resection.
Herman P, Machado MA, Montagnini AL, D'Albuquerque LA, Saad WA, Machado MC
World J Surg 2007;31(1):171-4.



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BACKGROUND: In the last few years there has been expanding use of hepatic resection for non-colorectal metastases. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the experience of liver resection for patients with metastatic melanoma. METHODS: Eighteen patients with metastatic melanoma were explored for possible surgical resection. All patients fitted the following criteria: absence of extra-hepatic disease after evaluation with CT/MRI and FDG-PET scans; disease-free interval longer than 24 months after the resection of the primary melanoma; presumed completely resectable lesions; absence of clinical co-morbidities.
RESULTS: Liver resection was performed in 10 patients; 8 out of 18 presented with irresectable tumors and/or peritoneal metastases and were not operated. One patient presented with postoperative biliary fistula and was conservatively managed. No other complications or postoperative mortality were observed. After a mean follow-up of 25.4 months, 5 patients are alive and without evidence of recurrence. Overall median survival was 22 months; overall survival and disease-free survival were 70% and 50% respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Resection of liver metastases from melanoma in a selected group of patients may increase survival. Exploratory laparoscopy should be included in the preoperative armamentarium of diagnostic tools.