Long-term survival after an aggressive surgical resection and chemotherapy for stage IV pulmonary giant cell carcinoma

World J Surg Oncol. 2005 Jun 2;3:32. doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-3-32.


Background: Pulmonary giant cell carcinoma is one of the rare histological subtypes with pleomorphic, sarcomatoid or sarcomatous elements. The prognosis of patients with this tumor tends to be poor, because surgery, irradiation and chemotherapy are not usually effective.

Case presentation: We herein report a patient with pulmonary giant cell carcinoma with stage IV disease in whom aggressive multi-modality therapy resulted in a long-term survival. A 51-year-old male underwent an emergent operation with a partial resection of small intestinal metastases due to bleeding from the tumor. The patient also underwent a left pneumonectomy due to hemothorax as a result of the rapid growth of the primary tumor. Thereafter, two different regimens of chemotherapy and a partial resection for other site of small intestinal metastases and a splenectomy for splenic metastases were performed. The patient is presently doing well without any evidence of recurrence for 3 years after the initial operation.

Conclusion: This is a first report of a rare case with stage IV pulmonary giant cell carcinoma who has survived long-term after undergoing aggressive surgical treatment and chemotherapy.