Hepatic resection for metastatic melanoma: a systematic review

Ahmer M. Hameed*, E-Ern I. Ng, Emma Johnston, Michael J. Hollands, Arthur J. Richardson, Henry C. Pleass, Vincent W. T. Lam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Melanoma metastatic to the liver has a very poor prognosis, and has traditionally been treated using systemic chemotherapy with limited efficacy. Surgery is increasingly being explored as a therapeutic option for melanoma liver metastases, with varying levels of success. A systematic review was undertaken to explore the short-term and long-term outcomes associated with hepatectomy for melanoma metastases, in addition to identifying prognostic factors favouring increased survival. All eligible studies were identified through an electronic search of Medline and Embase (January 1990-March 2013). Each study was independently analysed by two reviewers, with relevant data extracted and tabulated according to predetermined criteria. Thirteen studies were selected that fulfilled the selection criteria, with a total of 551 patients undergoing hepatic resection for melanoma metastases. Metastases to the liver occurred at a median interval of 54 months. The median perioperative morbidity and mortality were 10% (range 0-28.6%) and 0% (range 0-7.1%), respectively. The median overall survival for operative patients was 24 months, with median survival being greater in the R0 resection group (25 months; range 9.5-65.6 months) compared with the R1/2 resection group (16 months; range 11.7-29 months). Overall median 1-, 3- and 5-year survival rates were 70% (range 39-100%), 36% (range 10.2-53%) and 24% (range 3-53%), respectively. Positive prognostic factors may include single hepatic metastases, a longer time to development of hepatic metastases and R0 resection. Hepatic resection for metastatic melanoma might confer a distinct survival benefit in a select group of patients, although disease recurrence is the norm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalMelanoma Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • liver metastasis
  • melanoma
  • surgical resection


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