Research Papers:

Incidence and origin of histologically confirmed liver metastases: an explorative case-study of 23,154 patients

Jannemarie de Ridder _, Johannes H.W. de Wilt, Femke Simmer, Lucy Overbeek, Valery Lemmens and Iris Nagtegaal

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:55368-55376. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10552

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Jannemarie de Ridder1, Johannes H.W. de Wilt1, Femke Simmer2, Lucy Overbeek3, Valery Lemmens4,5, Iris Nagtegaal2

1Department of Surgical Oncology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

2Department of Pathology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

3Foundation PALGA, Nationwide Network and Registry of Histo- and Cytopathology in the Netherlands, Utrecht, The Netherlands

4Netherlands Cancer Registry, Comprehensive Cancer Organisation the Netherlands (IKNL), Eindhoven, The Netherlands

5Department of Public Health, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Correspondence to:

Jannemarie de Ridder, email: [email protected]

Keywords: liver metastases, histology, incidences, colorectal liver metastases, non-colorectal liver metastases

Received: December 05, 2015    Accepted: May 12, 2016    Published: July 13, 2016


Background: The liver is a common metastatic site for a large variety of primary tumors. For both patients with known and unknown primary tumors it is important to understand metastatic patterns to provide tailored therapies.

Objective: To perform a nationwide exploration of the origins of histological confirmed liver metastases.

Results: A total of 23,154 patients were identified. The majority of liver metastases were carcinomas (n=21,400; 92%) of which adenocarcinoma was the most frequent subtype (n=17,349; 75%). Most common primary tumors in patients with adenocarcinoma were from colorectal (n=8,004), pancreatic (n=1,755) or breast origin (n=1,415). In women of 50 years and younger, metastatic adenocarcinoma originated more frequently from breast cancer, while in women older than 70 years liver metastases originated more frequently from gastrointestinal tumors. Liver metastases in men older than 70 years originated often from squamous cell lung carcinoma. An unknown primary tumor was detected in 4,209 (18%) patients, although tumor type could be determined in 3,855 (92%) of them.

Methods: Data were collected using the nationwide network and registry of histo- and cytopathology in the Netherlands (PALGA). All histological confirmed liver metastases between January 2001 and December 2010 were evaluated for tumor type, origin of the primary tumor and were correlated with patient characteristics (age, gender).

Conclusion: The current study provides an overview of the origins of liver metastases in a series of 23,154 patients.

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