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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Apr;147(4):1193-200; discussion 1200-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2013.12.021. Epub 2014 Jan 2.

Aggressive and minimally invasive surgery for pulmonary metastasis of sarcoma.

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Division of Thoracic Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, Calif.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, Calif.
Department of Pathology, University of California, San Francisco, Calif.
Division of Hematology & Oncology, University of California, San Francisco, Calif.
Division of Thoracic Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, Calif. Electronic address:



Pulmonary metastasectomy has become a standard approach for sarcoma, but uncertainty remains regarding risk factors that accurately assess postoperative prognosis and can be used to guide surgical decision making.


We identified 145 patients who underwent 204 consecutive pulmonary metastasectomies for sarcoma between 1996 and 2009, and examined 174 complete resections in 118 patients. Predictors included surgical procedure, number/size of lesions, repeat resection, intervals to metastasis and to recurrence, chemotherapy, sarcoma subtype, distribution of pulmonary and extrapulmonary metastasis, and patient age/sex. Survival estimates were based on Kaplan-Meier analysis and compared using a log-rank test. Predictors were compared using univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards modeling.


Among patients undergoing R0 resections, median survival was 35 months (95% confidence interval, 22-60 months), with 3-, 5- and 10-year survival of 48%, 42%, and 31%, respectively. The number or size of lesions did not influence survival. Metastasis synchronous to the primary tumor, but not disease-free interval, was a significant predictor of worse survival on single variable and adjusted modeling (hazard ratio, 3.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-6.6; P = .005); the presence of extrapulmonary metastasis and a need for anatomic resection were also likely predictors (P = .06 and P = .07). Recurrence of pulmonary metastasis was not associated with a reduction in survival if completely resected, and a more aggressive and less invasive surgical approach during the later half of the study period was not associated with a significant decline in survival.


Evolving surgical practice may allow an increasingly aggressive approach to pulmonary sarcoma metastasis, which may be facilitated by increased use of a minimally invasive approach.

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