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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1999 Dec;118(6):1090-6.

Surgical treatment for both pulmonary and hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer.

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Metastatic Lung Tumor Study Group of Japan, Tokyo, Japan.



The role of surgery in the treatment of patients with pulmonary and hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer has not been delineated.


Of the 351 patients enrolled in the Metastatic Lung Tumor Study Group of Japan between June 1988 and June 1996 who underwent thoracotomy for pulmonary metastases from colorectal cancer, 47 also underwent hepatic resection for metastatic tumors. The records of these patients were studied.


The 47 patients who underwent pulmonary and hepatic resection had a 3-year survival of 36% +/- 8%, a 5-year survival of 31% +/- 8%, and an 8-year survival of 23% +/- 9%. The longest survival was 98 months. This patient was alive without recurrence. There was a significant difference in the cumulative survival of the patients with a solitary pulmonary metastasis and the patients with multiple pulmonary metastases (P =.04). Neither age, sex, location of the primary tumor, maximum diameter of the pulmonary metastases, method of pulmonary resection, number of hepatic metastases, nor method of hepatic resection was correlated with survival. However, 9 of 10 patients who survived 3 years or more after the initial thoracotomy had only one or two hepatic metastases.


Surgical treatment of a solitary pulmonary metastasis concurrent with or after resection of hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer may be appropriate if the hepatic metastases are resectable for cure. Patients with a solitary pulmonary metastasis and a small number of hepatic metastases are good candidates for resection. Long-term survival can be expected.

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