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J Am Coll Surg. 2003 Sep;197(3):386-91.

Longterm results after resection of simultaneous and sequential lung and liver metastases from colorectal carcinoma.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy.



Although simple lung or liver metastasectomy from colorectal cancer have proved effective in selected patients, the value of simultaneous biorgan metastasectomies is still debated.


Of 155 patients who underwent operation for lung or liver colorectal metastases between March 1987 and December 1998, we retrospectively reviewed 29 patients who presented simultaneous (n = 12) or sequential liver-->lung (n = 10) and lung-->liver (n = 7) metastases. All metastases were successfully resected in a total of 56 separate procedures. In 35 thoracic procedures, 45 metastases were removed by wedge resection (n = 36) or lobectomy (n = 9). In addition, 47 liver metastases were resected with wedge (n = 24), segmentectomy (n = 13), or lobectomy (n = 10). There were no perioperative deaths and the morbidity rate was low (10.7%). All patients were followed for a minimum of 3 years. Factors possibly influencing survival were evaluated by univariate and subsequently by multivariate analyses.


Median survival from the second metastasectomy was 41 months, with a 5-year survival rate of 51.3%. Risk factor distribution among the three metastastic pattern groups was insignificant. Premetastasectomy elevated levels of both CEA and CA19-9 (p = 0.0001), and mediastinal or celiac lymph node status (p = 0.03) were significantly associated with survival in the univariate analysis, although number of metastasectomies, disease-free interval, and simultaneous versus sequential diagnosis were not. In the multivariate analysis, only elevated CEA plus CA19-9 (p = 0.01) was significantly associated with survival.


We conclude that either simultaneous or sequential lung and liver metastasectomy can be successfully treated by surgery. Poor results were obtained in the presence of high levels of CEA plus CA19-9.

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