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Presse Med. 1995 Jun 17;24(22):1028-32.

[Lung metastases from colorectal cancer: results of surgery].

[Article in French]

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Service de Chirurgie thoracique, Institut mutualiste Montsouris, Centre m├ędico-chirurgical de la Porte de Choisy, Paris.



Surgery has become a recognized therapeutic means in selected patients with isolated pulmonary metastases, with a 5-year survival rate of about 35%, but specific studies on the results and prognosis of surgery for pulmonary metastases from colorectal cancer remain relatively rare.


Between 1980 and 1991, 65 patients (34 men, 31 women, mean age 58.2 years) underwent 81 thoracic operations with curative intent (including 15 bilateral operations and 7 incomplete resections) for pulmonary metastases from colorectal cancer.


The 5- and 10-year probabilities of survival (Kaplan-Meier) after the first thoracic operation were 27% and 22% respectively. The site of the primary tumor (colon or rectum), the disease-free interval, previous resection(s) of hepatic metastases, and the size of pulmonary metastases were not found to the have a statistically significant influence on prognosis. On the other hand, the quality of resection (complete or incomplete) (p < 0.001), the number of resected pulmonary metastases (p = 0.016), and the preoperative carcino-embryonic antigen level (p < 0.001) were found to be highly significant prognostic factors.


Complete resection of pulmonary metastases from colorectal cancer seems to prolong survival in a significant number of patients, and the results from this study should help to select those who may benefit from this treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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