Is repeated pulmonary metastasectomy justified?

Clin Exp Metastasis. 2020 Dec;37(6):675-682. doi: 10.1007/s10585-020-10056-w. Epub 2020 Sep 13.


Recurrence after pulmonary metastasectomy (PM) is frequent, but it is unclear to whom repeated pulmonary metastasectomy (RPM) offers highest benefits. Retrospective analysis of oncological and post-operative outcomes of consecutive patients who underwent PM from 2003 to 2018. Overall survival (OS) and disease-free interval (DFI) were calculated. Cox regression was used to identify variables influencing OS and DFI. In total, 264 patients (female/male: 114/150; median age: 62 years) underwent PM for colorectal cancer (32%), sarcoma (19%), melanoma (16%) and other primary tumors (33%). Pulmonary metastasectomy was approached by video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) in 73% and pulmonary resection was realized by non-anatomical resection in 76% of cases. The overall median follow-up time was 33 months (IQR 16-56 months) and overall 5-year survival rate was 62%. Local or distant recurrences were observed in 172 patients (65%) and RPM could be performed in 66 patients (25%) for a total of 116 procedures. RPM was realized by VATS in 49% and pulmonary resection by wedge in 77% of cases. In RPM patients, the 5-year survival rate after first PM was 79%. Post-operative cardio-pulmonary complication rate (13% vs. 12%; p = 0.8) and median length of stay (4 vs. 5 days; p = 0.2) were not statistically different between first PM and RPM. Colorectal cancer (HR 0.56), metachronous metastasis (HR 0.48) and RPM (HR 0.5) were associated with better survival. In conclusion, our results suggest that RPM offers favorable survival rates without increasing post-operative morbidity.

Keywords: Pulmonary metastasectomy; Pulmonary metastases; Repeat metastasectomy; VATS.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Metastasectomy / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / surgery
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Prognosis
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted