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Lung Cancer. 2005 Aug;49(2):203-7. Epub 2005 Apr 9.

Adrenalectomy for solitary adrenal metastases from non-small cell lung cancer.

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  • 1Department of Thoracic Surgery, Thoraxklinik Heidelberg, Amalienstr. 5, D-69126 Heidelberg, Germany.



The treatment of patients with adrenal metastases from lung cancer (non-small cell lung cancer, NSCLC) remains controversial. Several studies of adrenalectomy in cases of isolated adrenal metastases from NSCLC suggest that these patients could have improved survival. Our aim is to define the history of patients after resection of solitary metastases to the adrenal gland and to identify characteristics of patients who achieved prolonged survival.


Between January 1997 and July 2000, 11 patients underwent curative resection for metastatic NSCLC of the adrenal gland in our institution. In all patients who were accepted for curative adrenalectomy, the primary NSCLC had been treated by complete resection.


Eleven patients (seven men and four women) with unilateral adrenal metastases of NSCLC entered the study. Median age was 59 years (range 47-67 years). There was no perioperative death. The overall median survival after metastasectomy was 12.6 months (CI: 9.2-16.1 months). Patients with curative resection and metachronous disease (n=6) had a median survival of 30.9 months and tended to do better than patients with synchronous adrenal metastases (n=5) (median survival: 10.3 months).


We conclude that adrenalectomy for clinically solitary, resectable metastases can be performed safely. It appears reasonable that such selected patients should be considered surgical candidates.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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