A prognostic nomogram for colorectal cancer liver metastases after percutaneous thermal ablation

<p><b>Purpose:</b> To assess the efficacy of percutaneous thermal ablation in treating colorectal cancer liver metastases (CRCLM), and to propose a prognostic nomogram for overall survival (OS).</p> <p><b>Materials and methods:</b> Seventy-one patients with CRCLM undergoing thermal ablation at our institute from 2009 to 2013 were identified and analysed to formulate a prognostic nomogram. The concordance index (C-index) and calibration curve were calculated to evaluate the predictive accuracy of the nomogram. The nomogram was compared with two current prognostic nomograms for patients with CRCLM who had undergone hepatectomy (Kattan) and selective internal radiation therapy (Fendler). Predictive validity was assessed in the validation cohort of 25 patients who had undergone thermal ablation from 2014 to 2016.</p> <p><b>Results:</b> The median OS in the primary cohort was 26.4 months, whereas the 1-, 3- and 5-year OS rates were 72.2%, 37.2% and 17%, respectively. The median progression-free survival was 4.2 months. After univariate and multivariate analysis, a prognostic nomogram was formulated based on four predictors, including the number of tumours, maximum diameter of the tumour, CA19–9 level and ablation margin. The C-index of the nomogram was 0.815. Based on the patients of this study, the C-index was significantly higher than that of the Fendler nomogram (C-index, 0.698) and Kattan nomogram (C-index, 0.514, <i>p</i> < 0.001). Predictive accuracy of the proposed nomogram was also satisfactory in the validation cohort, with a C-index of 0.884.</p> <p><b>Conclusions:</b> Thermal ablation was an effective therapy for CRCLM. Moreover, the nomogram was effective and simple for CRCLM patients undergoing thermal ablation.</p>