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Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2006 Oct;54(7):489-92.

Pulmonary metastasectomy in patients with soft tissue sarcomas: experiences in 50 patients.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, Thoraxklinik Heidelberg, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.



Pulmonary resection of metastatic soft tissue sarcomas is an accepted method of treatment. The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical course, outcome and prognostic factors after surgery.


Between 1996 and 2001, 50 patients (27 men, 23 women) with pulmonary metastases from a soft tissue sarcoma 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 31 patients.


The overall 5-year survival rate was 37.6 %. The 5-year survival rate after complete metastasectomy was 52.7 %, but none of the patients who underwent incomplete resection survived 3 years. Complete resection was found to be a significant prognostic factor for survival following metastasectomy ( P < 0.0001). Of the prognostic factors analyzed, age, sex, repeat thoracotomy, thoracic lymph node involvement, number of metastases, disease-free interval, histology and histological grading did not influence survival.


We conclude that pulmonary resection of metastatic soft tissue sarcomas is a safe and effective treatment, which offers an improved survival benefit. Prognosis-related criteria are identified which support the necessity of complete surgical resection of all clinically detected metastases.

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