Resection of adrenal metastases from non-small cell lung cancer: a multicenter study

Ann Thorac Surg. 2001 Mar;71(3):981-5. doi: 10.1016/s0003-4975(00)02509-1.


Background: In recent case reports and limited series, adrenalectomy was recommended for an isolated adrenal metastasis from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Methods: We retrospectively studied patients with a solitary adrenal metastasis from NSCLC who had undergone potentially curative resection in eight centers.

Results: Forty-three patients were included. Their adrenal gland metastasis was discovered synchronously with NSCLC in 32 patients, and metachronously in 11. It was homolateral to the NSCLC in 31 patients and contralateral in 12 (p < 0.01). Median survival was 11 months, and 3 patients survived more than 5 years. There was no difference between the synchronous and metachronous groups regarding recurrence rate or survival. Survival was not affected by the homolateral location of the metastasis, the histology of the NSCLC, TNM stage, any adjuvant and neoadjuvant treatment, or, in the metachronous group, a disease-free interval exceeding 6 months.

Conclusions: We confirm the possibility of long-term survival after resection of isolated adrenal metastasis from NSCLC, but no clinical or pathologic criteria were detected to identify patients amenable to potential cure.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / mortality
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Adrenalectomy*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / secondary*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate