Last updated on March 2018

Living Donor Liver Transplantation for Unresectable Colorectal Cancer Liver Metastases


Brief description of study

Patients with unresectable liver metastases (LM) from colorectal cancer (CRC)have a poor prognosis. In patients with resectable disease, surgery offers a distinct survival benefit. This study will offer live donor liver transplantation (LDLT) to select patients with unresectable metastases that are 1) limited to the liver and 2) stable (non-progressing) on standard chemotherapy. Potential participants will be evaluated for liver transplant suitability and must also have a willing, healthy living donor come forward for evaluation. Those participants who undergo LDLT will be followed for survival, disease-free survival and quality of life for 5 years and compared to a "control group" of participants who drop out of study prior to transplantation due to reasons other than cancer progression.

Detailed Study Description

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Approximately half of all patients develop metastases, often to the liver or lung. Surgical treatment of liver metastases (LM) is the only curative treatment option; however, it has been estimated that only 20-40% of patients are candidates for liver resection. Surgery offers a distinct survival advantage: the 5-year survival after liver resection for LM is around 40-50% in most studies versus 10-20% 5-year survival for chemotherapy alone.

In cases where the colorectal metastases are isolated to the liver but "unresectable", the total hepatectomy resulting from liver transplantation would remove all evident disease. CRC LM are considered an absolute contraindication for liver transplantation (LT) at most centers but recent reports of LT for colorectal LM from a single center in Oslo, Norway demonstrated a 5-year survival of 56%. The Norway study was not stringent about inclusion criteria or pre-transplant chemotherapy, and transplanted patients whose tumors were actively growing. As a result many participants developed disease recurrence quite rapidly following transplant. The investigators hypothesize that tighter criteria would result in improved outcomes.

Unfortunately, with a lack of deceased donor grafts for the investigators existing transplant patients, the investigators cannot utilize decease donor grafts for this study. Therefore the investigators will explore Living Donor Liver Transplantation (LDLT). Furthermore, LDLT is an elective surgery, allowing for more control over pre-transplant chemotherapy and tumor monitoring. This study will offer live donor liver transplantation (LDLT) to select patients with unresectable metastases that are 1) limited to the liver and 2) stable (non-progressing) on standard chemotherapy. Potential participants will be evaluated for liver transplant suitability and must also have a willing, healthy living donor come forward for evaluation. Those participants who undergo LDLT will be followed for survival, disease-free survival and quality of life for 5 years and compared to a "control group" of participants who drop out of study prior to transplantation due to reasons other than cancer progression.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02864485

Contact Investigators or Research Sites near you

Start Over

Erin Winter

Toronto General Hospital
Toronto, ON Canada
  Connect »