Retrospective survival analysis of 237 consecutive patients with multiple pulmonary metastases from advanced renal cell carcinoma exclusively resected by a 1318-nm laser

Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2015 Aug;21(2):211-7. doi: 10.1093/icvts/ivv120. Epub 2015 May 14.


Objectives: Despite the introduction of new target drugs to treat pulmonary metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), complete surgical resection still generates significantly longer survival. We analysed the survival outcome for patients with pulmonary mRCC after extended laser metastasectomy with up to 110 metastases and systematic lymphadenectomy to assess the utility and value of laser resection in the respective patient groups even with high number of metastases.

Methods: Between 1996 and 2012, 237 patients (150 men, 87 women) underwent curative intended pulmonary laser metastasectomy of mRCC. A total of 2996 metastases (range: 1-110) were resected. Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed to assess overall survival in all 237 patients and for sub-groups. Multivariate analysis of prognostic factors was performed using Cox regression models.

Results: Two hundred and eight patients with R0-resection (88%) had 5-year overall survival rate and median overall survival of 54% and 69 months, respectively, significantly better than 7% and 19 months in those with incomplete resections (log-rank P < 0.00001). A mean of 13 metastases per patient were resected. Five-year survival for patients with 1, 2-5, 6-9, 10-29 or 30-110 metastases resected was 62, 59, 60, 43 and 40%, respectively. In multivariate Cox-regression of all 237 patients, only completeness of resection (P < 0.0001) and number of metastases (P = 0.0029) were independent factors.

Conclusions: If complete resection is achieved, laser resection can remove even high numbers of metastases with considerable and comparable long-term survival known from previous reports. This tissue-saving technique allows repeated resections in case of recurrence.

Keywords: 1318 nm laser; Pulmonary metastasectomy; Renal cell carcinoma; Survival analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Laser Therapy / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Lymph Node Excision
  • Male
  • Metastasectomy / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonectomy / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis