© 2015, Society of Surgical Oncology. Background: This study used case reports to review the role of systemic chemotherapy in oligometastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) and to suggest ways to integrate clinical research findings into the interdisciplinary management of this potentially curable subset of patients. Methods: This educational review discusses the role of chemotherapy in the management of oligometastatic metastatic CRC. Results: In initially resectable oligometastatic CRC, the goal of chemotherapy is to eradicate micrometastatic disease. Perioperative 5-fluorouracil and oxaliplatin together with surgical resection can result in 5-year survival rates as high as 57 %. With the development of increasingly successful chemotherapy regimens, attention is being paid to chemotherapy used to convert patients with initially unresectable metastasis to patients with a chance of surgical cure. The choice of chemotherapy regimen requires consideration of the goals for therapy and assessment of both tumor- and patient-specific factors. Conclusion: This report discusses the choice and timing of chemotherapy in patients with initially resectable and borderline resectable metastatic CRC. Coordinated multidisciplinary care of such patients can optimize survival outcomes and result in cure for patients with this otherwise lethal disease.