Survival Benefit of Palliative Local Treatments and Efficacy of Different Pharmacotherapies in Colorectal Cancer With Lung Metastasis: Results From a Large Retrospective Study

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



For most colorectal cancer patients with initial lung metastasis (LM), the only suitable treatments are palliative, including palliative local therapy and pharmacotherapy. We investigated the role of palliative local treatments in prolonging survival and the efficacy of different pharmacotherapies.

Patients and Methods

After performing a medical record review of 2233 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, 684 were identified as having LM. Their clinicopathologic characteristics, treatment patterns, and outcomes were analyzed retrospectively.


For nonresectable initial LM, patients receiving palliative local therapy had significantly longer median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) than those treated with pharmacotherapy alone: PFS 16.1 months versus 7.4 months (P < .001) and OS 51.8 months versus 23.8 months (P < .001), respectively. Cox multivariate analysis confirmed the survival benefit induced by palliative local therapy. Chemonaive patients receiving single-agent fluoropyrimidine had shorter PFS and longer OS compared to oxaliplatin- or irinotecan-based doublets when used as first-line treatment (PFS 4.8, 7.4, and 7.3 months; and OS 28.7, 21.2, and 20.1 months, respectively); however, these differences were not statistically significant. The addition of targeted agents to cytotoxic drugs prolonged PFS (10.5 vs. 7.2 months, P = .005) but not OS (27.8 vs. 21.2 months, P = .454). Carcinoembryonic antigen level, LM-associated symptoms, extrapulmonary disease, and histopathologic type were independent pretreatment prognostic factors.


Local treatments of LM may confer a survival benefit in the palliative setting. First-line single-agent fluoropyrimidine may be used in patients with good prognosis.


The role of palliative local treatments and the efficacy of different pharmacotherapies in colorectal cancer with initial lung metastasis was retrospectively investigated. Palliative local treatments resulted in better survival benefit than pharmacotherapy alone. First-line nonintensive pharmacotherapy showed similar survival durations compared to intensive regimens.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles