Pulmonary resection for metastases of colorectal origin

Chest. 1995 Jun;107(6):1526-31. doi: 10.1378/chest.107.6.1526.


Study objective: To develop selection criteria for pulmonary metastasectomy in patients with metastases of colorectal cancer confined to the lungs.

Design: A retrospective study.

Setting: Medical records of all patients operated on for this condition in the Netherlands in the period 1982 to 1992 (n = 38).

Intervention: Evaluation by means of Cox's proportional hazards regression analysis of factors, which might relate to postthoracotomy disease-free survival and/or postthoracotomy survival.

Measurements and results: The 5-year disease-free survival was 31%, and the overall 5-year survival was 43% (Kaplan-Meyer). Multivariately, a number of three or fewer metastases (p = 0.012) and a short delay between detection of pulmonary metastases and resection (p = 0.05) related to a longer postthoracotomy disease-free interval. A longer interval between resection of the primary tumor and detection of lung metastases related to a longer postthoracotomy survival (p = 0.021).

Conclusions: Patients with three or less pulmonary metastases of colorectal origin may benefit from resection; once metastases have been detected, resection should not be postponed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / surgery
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thoracotomy