Determinants of 5-year survival were evaluated after complete resection of pulmonary metastases from adult soft-tissue sarcomas. Fifty-eight patients had complete resection (median survival 25 months, P = 0.0002), with a 25.8% absolute 5-year survival (15 of 58 patients); six patients had unresectable disease (median survival 6 months) and were excluded from additional analysis. Eleven patients remain disease free, with a median follow-up of 76 months. Significant independent prognostic indicators associated with improved survival (P less than 0.05) included metastasis doubling time of 40 days or greater (median survival 37 months versus 15 months if less than 40 days); unilateral disease on preoperative radiography (33 months versus 15 months if bilateral disease); three or fewer nodules on preoperative computed tomography (40 months versus 14 months if 4 or more nodules); two nodules or fewer resected (40 months versus 17 months if 3 or more nodules resected), and tumor histology (33 months for malignant fibrous histiocytoma versus 17 months for all others). Multivariate analysis identified the number of nodules detected by computed tomography preoperatively as having significant prognostic value.