Does resection of adrenal metastases from non-small cell lung cancer improve survival?

Ann Thorac Surg. 1996 Dec;62(6):1614-6. doi: 10.1016/s0003-4975(96)00611-x.


Background: Metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) carries a dismal prognosis, which is minimally affected by chemotherapy. Solitary brain metastases from NSCLC have been resected with 5-year survivals of 10% to 30%. The objective of this study was to determine if resection of isolated adrenal metastases improves survival.

Methods: Isolated adrenal metastases were found in 14 patients with NSCLC. Eight patients had resection after cis-platinum-based chemotherapy, and 6 received chemotherapy alone.

Results: Median survival in the surgical group was significantly greater than that in the chemotherapy group (31 versus 8.5 months; p = 0.03). All patients in the chemotherapy group were dead by 22 months. Three-year actuarial survival in the surgical group was 38%. No difference in locoregional stage, size of adrenal metastases, patient age, or performance status was present between the two groups.

Conclusions: Long-term disease-free survival is possible after resection of isolated adrenal metastases from NSCLC. Resection of isolated adrenal metastases should be considered if the primary NSCLC is resectable.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / mortality
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / secondary*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate