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Ann Thorac Surg. 2002 Nov;74(5):1653-7.

Prognostic factors for survival after pulmonary resection of metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Thoracic Surgery, Thoraxklinik-Heidelberg, Germany.



Pulmonary resection in metastatic renal cell carcinoma is an accepted method of treatment. The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical course, outcome, and prognostic factors after surgery.


Between 1985 and 1999, 191 patients (145 men, 46 women) with pulmonary metastases from a renal cell carcinoma underwent surgical resection. Inclusion criteria for the study were the absence of primary tumor recurrence and other extrapulmonary metastases. Complete resection (CR) was achieved in 149 patients.


The overall 5-year survival rate was 36.9%. The 5-year survival rate after complete metastasectomy and incomplete resection was 41.5% and 22.1%, respectively. In patients with pulmonary or mediastinal lymph node metastases, we observed after complete resection a 5-year survival rate of 24.4%, whereas the rate was 42.1% in patients without lymph node involvement. A significantly longer survival was observed for patients with fewer than seven pulmonary metastases compared with patients with more than seven metastases (46.8% vs 14.5%). For surgically rendered complete resection (CR) patients with a disease-free interval of 0 to 23 months, the 5-year survival rate was 24.7% compared with 47% for those with more than a 23-month disease-free interval. By multivariate analyses, we showed that the number of pulmonary metastases, the involvement of lymph node metastases, and the length of the disease-free interval were all predictors of survival after complete resection.


We conclude that pulmonary resection in metastatic renal cell carcinoma is a safe and effective treatment that offers improved survival benefit. Prognosis-related criteria are identified that support patient selection for surgery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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