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Eur Urol. 2005 Jul;48(1):77-81; discussion 81-2. Epub 2005 Mar 20.

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

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Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Ernst-Grube-Strasse 40, 06097 Halle, Germany.



Pulmonary metastasectomy as well as immunotherapy have reproducible, albeit limited efficacy in advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). We examined whether metastasectomy improved overall survival compared with results of immunotherapy.


Between 1975 and 2003, 64 patients (41 men, 23 women) underwent pulmonary resection of metastatic RCC. Only patients who met the criteria for potentially curative operation, that means, control of primary tumor, ability to resect metastatic disease and no other extrapulmonary metastases, were included.


The overall 5-year survival was 33.4% (median survival: 39.2 months). A significant longer survival was observed using multivariate analysis in patients with complete pulmonary resection (R0), with a 5-year survival of 39.9% and a median survival of 46.6 months in correlation to patients with incomplete resection (5-year survival 0%, median survival 13.3 months). In multivariate analysis patients with synchronous metastases had a significant worse prognosis in correlation to patients with metachronous metastases. The 5-year survival of curative resected patients with metachronous metastases was 43.7% versus 0% for synchronous metastases, respectively. In patients with solitary metastasis and R0 resection, we observed a 5-year survival of 49%, whereas the rate was 23% in patients with more than a single metastasis. When establishing prognostic groups as suggested by the International Registry based on the risk factors disease-free interval, number of metastasis and complete resection the group with the best prognosis showed a 5-year survival of 52% (median survival 75.2 months).


Metastasectomy nowadays is the best treatment option in cases with technical resectable metastases with as much as possible good prognostic factors (metachronous metastases with long DFI, number up to 6 metastases).

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