The National Center for Tumor Diseases in Dresden (NCT/UCC) at the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden says that colorectal cancer patients with pancreatic metastases should not delay requesting a second opinion from a major expert center.
If the metastases can be removed by surgery, about 40 percent of patients have at least five-year survival chances. Otherwise the five-year survival rate is less than 10 percent.
Surgery and combined procedures in pancreatic metastases treatment have developed sufficiently in the last years, but not all affected patients can benefit from them.
In Germany there are specialized surgery centers that are very successful in treating liver metastases.
Modern techniques make it possible to expand the scope of surgery. Even if metastases have spread to both liver lobes, it does not exclude the possibility of an operation. Another therapeutic option is, for example, the replacement of major blood vessels using the body’s own tissues – a complex surgical procedure requiring great experience. Such operation can remove up to 80 percent of the initial liver volume without damaging the vital liver functions. After that the organ can grow up to its pre-op size.
Patients beginning their treatment at a clinic other than a major center should request a second opinion as soon as possible. “In any case it is better to ask more questions than too few”, - says Prof.Jürgen Weitz, Head of the Department of Visceral, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery and board member of the National Center for Tumor Diseases in Dresden (NCT/UCC).
It may not be necessary to set off on a long and exhausting journey just at once. Only if the second opinion proves that an operation is possible a patient should come for it in person.