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Synchronous Metastatic Rectal Cancer Completely Resected After Multidisciplinary Planning and Treatment: A Case Report

Hans F. Schoellhammer, Gagandeep Singh, and Lucille Leong

Colorectal cancer is a common and significant public health concern. The liver is the most common site of metastasis, and colorectal cancer liver metastases (CRLM) may affect up to 60% of patients at some time during the course of their disease. Approximately 25% of patients are found to have synchronous CRLM at the time of diagnosis, and these patients have a worse prognosis than those who develop metastases later in their disease course. In the absence of extrahepatic disease, resection of CRLM with negative margins along with chemotherapy can lead to a 5-year overall survival rate of up to 60%. This report presents the case of a 48-year-old man diagnosed with rectal cancer and synchronous liver metastases that a multidisciplinary tumor board initially deemed to be unresectable because of large size and insufficient future liver remnant. The patient underwent FOLFOX chemotherapy with bevacizumab and experienced conversion to resectable hepatic disease. After neoadjuvant short-course radiation treatment to the rectum, the patient underwent combined low anterior resection of the rectum and a right hepatectomy and was rendered disease-free. The management of the patient’s clinical course with correlation to the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for Rectal Cancer is presented in this report, including discussion of the role of chemotherapy in the conversion of CRLM to resectable status, the role of surgical metastasectomy, and postoperative surveillance of patients with colorectal cancer.