The objective of the study was to determine the impact of PET uptake on liver metastases on overall survival (OS) after resection of pulmonary metastases in patients who had received liver transplantation (LT) due to unresectable colorectal liver-only metastases. Resection of pulmonary colorectal metastases is controversial. Some hospitals offer this treatment to selected patients, whereas other hospitals do not perform the procedure in colorectal cancer patients who develop pulmonary metastases. All patients included in the LT studies who developed pulmonary metastases as first site of relapse, and had resection of these as first treatment, were included in this report. Metabolic tumor volume (MTV) in liver was derived from the pre-transplant PET examinations. OS from time of resection was calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Patients with low MTV (<70 cm3) had significantly longer OS from time of resection of pulmonary metastases compared to patients with high MTV (>70 cm3). Patients with low MTV in the liver had 10-year OS from time of pulmonary resections of 86%. Liver MTV values from pre-transplant PET examinations may predict long OS in colorectal cancer patients with a resection of pulmonary metastases developing after LT. Thus, in selected colorectal cancer patients developing pulmonary metastases resection of these metastases should be the treatment of choice.
Keywords: colorectal cancer; fluorine 18 fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography; liver metastases; liver transplantation; lung metastases; overall survival; pulmonary resection.