Role of surgical resection in colorectal lung metastases: Analysis of 137 patients

Piero Borasio, Mara Gisabella, Andrea Billé, Luisella Righi, Marina Longo, Marco Tampellini, Francesco Ardissone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The aim of this study is to investigate clinicopathologic characteristics and to identify prognostic factors in patients undergoing pulmonary metastasectomy for colorectal carcinoma. Methods: This study is a single-institution retrospective study of 137 consecutive patients who underwent 158 pulmonary resections for metastatic colorectal carcinoma between January 1989 and June 2008. Results: Median disease-free interval between colorectal resection and pulmonary metastasectomy was 35.6 months (range, 0.6 to 154.3 months). No perioperative deaths occurred. Follow-up was 100% complete and mean follow-up was 41.6 ± 27.6 months. Median survival was 36.2 months (range, 4.6 to 126 months). Overall 5- and 10-year survival rates were 55.4% and 30.8%, respectively, after pulmonary metastasectomy. At univariate analysis of patient survival, number of lung metastases (p = 0.002), disease-free interval of more than 24 month (p = 0.013), and absence of residual tumor (p = 0.024) were significant prognostic factors. At multivariate analysis, presence of solitary lung metastasis and disease-free interval of more than 24 months remained significant prognostic factors. There was no significant difference in the 5-year survival for 121 patients undergoing single thoracotomy compared with 16 patients undergoing repeated resection(s) for recurrent colorectal lung metastasis (55.1% vs 59.5%; p = 0.79). Nor was the presence of hepatic metastasis associated with lower outcome (p = 0.77). Conclusions: Disease-free interval and number of metastases are the most significant prognostic factors for survival after pulmonary metastasectomy for colorectal carcinoma. Recurrent pulmonary disease can benefit from repeated resection. Prior hepatectomy for liver involvement does not influence survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Colorectal Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • Colorectal carcinoma
  • Lung metastasectomy
  • Lung metastases
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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