Background: Metastasectomy for colorectal carcinoma to the lung is controversial. We analyzed results of this approach to justify its credibility.
Methods: We studied 144 patients by retrospective review after complete resection of lung metastases from colorectal cancer from 1965 through 1988. Patient selection and prognostic factors influencing survival were analyzed. Survival was analyzed by the Kaplan-Meier method, and comparisons were made by log-rank analysis.
Results: A total of 170 thoracotomies were performed in 144 patients. The overall 5- and 10-year survival was 40% and 30%, respectively. Those patients undergoing complete resection of their metastases survived significantly longer than those undergoing incomplete resections.
Conclusion: It appears that resection of pulmonary metastases from colorectal carcinoma translates into long-term survival benefit.