Background: Despite multiple randomized trials, the role of perioperative chemotherapy in colorectal cancer liver metastasis (CRLM) is still under debate. In this systematic review and network meta-analysis (NMA), we aim to evaluate the efficacy of perioperative systemic therapies for patients with CRLM. Methods: We searched various databases for abstracts and full-text articles published from database inception through May 2021.We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the addition of perioperative (post, pre, or both) systemic therapies to surgery alone in patients with CRLM. The outcomes were compared according to the chemotherapy regimen using a random effects model. Outcomes of interest included disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). Results: Seven RCTs with a total of 1504 patients with CRLM were included. Six studies included post-operative treatment and one evaluated perioperative (pre- and postoperative) therapy. Fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy was the most used systemic therapy. NMA showed benefit of adding perioperative therapy to surgery in terms of DFS (HR 0.73, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.84). However, these findings did not translate into a statistically significant OS benefit (HR 0.88, 95% CI 0.74 to 1.05). NMA did not show any advantage of one regimen over another including oxaliplatin or irinotecan. Conclusions: This systematic review and NMA of 7 RCTs found that the addition of perioperative systemic treatment for resectable CRLM could improve disease-free survival but not overall survival. Based on the findings, addition of perioperative treatment in resectable CRLM should be individualized weighing the risks and benefits.
ASJC Scopus subject areas