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JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Benefits of surgery for patients with pulmonary metastases from colorectal carcinoma

Masayoshi Inoue, Mitsunori Ohta, Keiji Iuchi, Akihide Matsumura, Kan Ideguchi, Tsutomu Yasumitsu, Katsuhiro Nakagawa, Kenjiro Fukuhara, Hajime Maeda, Shin-ichi Takeda, Masato Minami, Yuko Ohno, Hikaru Matsuda et al.
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2004, 78 (1): 238-44
15223436

BACKGROUND: A pulmonary metastasectomy for colorectal carcinoma is a generally accepted procedure, although several prognostic predictors have been reported. The aim of this study is to define the patients who benefit from pulmonary metastasectomy for colorectal carcinoma.

METHODS: Retrospective survival analysis was performed using 128 patients who underwent curative pulmonary resection.

RESULTS: The overall 5-year survival rate was 45.3%. Univariate analysis showed the number of metastases, location (unilateral or bilateral), prethoracotomy carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) level, hilar or mediastinal lymph-node metastasis, and Dukes' stage to be considerable prognostic factors. Among these, Dukes' A for the primary lesion and unilateral pulmonary metastasis were shown to be independent predictors of longer survival by multivariate analysis (p = 0.0093 and p = 0.0182, respectively). In patients treated with both pulmonary and hepatic metastastasectomies, a better prognosis was observed in those who received metachronous resection. Recurrence after a pulmonary metastasectomy frequently occurred in the thorax and the 3-year survival rate was 44.6% in patients who underwent a repeat thoracotomy.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with unilateral metastasis and Dukes' A for the primary tumor benefit most from the resection of pulmonary metastasis from colorectal carcinoma. Further, the number of metastases, prethoracotomy CEA level, and hilar or mediastinal lymph-node involvement should be considered to determine the operative indication. Finally, periodic follow-up examinations for thoracic recurrence should be carefully performed as these patients may have a heightened risk of requiring a repeat thoracotomy.

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