2 Indications and current treatments
2.1 Liver metastases are a common manifestation of many primary cancers. The liver is the main site for metastases originating from colorectal or other gastrointestinal tract cancers.
2.2 The number, location and size of the metastases as well as the patient's general health and the site of the primary cancer all influence the choice of treatment for liver metastases. For a minority of patients, surgical resection with curative intent may be possible. While non‑surgical ablative techniques may be used with curative intent, for most patients treatment is palliative. Options for palliative treatment include systemic chemotherapy, external beam radiotherapy, thermal ablation techniques (such as radiofrequency or cryotherapy), arterial embolisation techniques, and selective internal radiation therapy. Multiple treatment modalities may be used for individual patients.
2.3 Thermal ablation techniques are normally used in patients for whom surgery would not be suitable, or for treating recurrence following surgical resection. They may also be used as an adjunct to hepatic resection, either to downstage the disease to facilitate liver resection or to ablate small‑volume disease in the liver remnant after resection.