Repeated and aggressive pulmonary resections for leiomyosarcoma metastases extends survival

Ann Thorac Surg. 2011 Oct;92(4):1202-7. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2011.05.052. Epub 2011 Aug 25.


Background: Sarcoma frequently metastasizes to the lungs, and pulmonary metastasectomy is the only treatment modality that can provide a cure for these patients. We attempted to determine the clinicopathologic features and survival determinants of a common subset of patients who undergo pulmonary metastasectomy for leiomyosarcoma.

Methods: All patients undergoing pulmonary metastasectomy at The Brigham and Women's Hospital from 1989 to 2004 were reviewed retrospectively. Analyzed variables included number, size, pathology, and location of metastases, age, gender, location of primary tumor, disease-free interval (DFI), surgical approach, margin status, adjuvant therapy, recurrence, number of metastasectomies, and disease-free and overall survival.

Results: Eighty-two patients underwent pulmonary metastasectomy for metastases from sarcoma. Leiomyosarcoma was the most common histologic finding (n = 31; 38%). Fifteen patients with leiomyosarcoma (48%) underwent repeated pulmonary metastasectomy. Patients with leiomyosarcoma were more commonly female (77% versus 43%; p = 0.031), less frequently received chemotherapy for their primary tumor (48% versus 71%, p = 0.041), and presented with fewer number of pulmonary metastases than did patients with nonleiomyosarcoma metastases (1.9 ± 1.5 standard deviation [SD] versus 3.6 ± 4.4; p = 0.033). Although there was no difference in disease-free survival, patients with leiomyosarcoma demonstrated improved overall survival compared with those with nonleiomyosarcoma metastases (70 versus 24 months; p = 0.049). In multivariate analyses, the DFI from primary tumor resection to pulmonary metastases and the DFI from pulmonary metastasectomy to second pulmonary recurrence were identified as independent predictors of survival.

Conclusions: Leiomyosarcoma is a common subset of sarcomatous pulmonary metastases that behave more indolently compared with other pulmonary metastases from sarcoma. Long-term survival is achievable with an aggressive approach toward pulmonary metastasectomy and repeated pulmonary metastasectomy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Bone Neoplasms / mortality
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Bone Neoplasms / surgery
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Leiomyosarcoma / mortality
  • Leiomyosarcoma / secondary
  • Leiomyosarcoma / surgery*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Massachusetts / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / mortality
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / surgery
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uterine Neoplasms / mortality
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / surgery