There is no criterion for the timing of surgical resection of pulmonary metastasis. In this study, we investigated the optimal period for pulmonary metastasectomy.Methods:
Between 2000 and 2005, 68 patients underwent complete pulmonary resection of metastatic cancer. Clinical prognostic factor in multivariate analysis was examined.Results:
The interval from pulmonary metastasectomy until subsequent recurrence and the interval from detection of pulmonary metastasis until pulmonary metastasectomy were independent prognostic factors. To investigate the relationship between the two characteristics, the 68 patients were divided into two groups according to the interval from lung metastasectomy until subsequent recurrence. Nineteen patients relapsed within 1 year after pulmonary metastasectomy (group A), while 49 patients did not relapse within 1 year (group B). The interval from detection of pulmonary metastasis until pulmonary metastasectomy was significantly shorter in group A than in group B (2.9 months vs 7.1 months, p = 0.01). Based on these results, we divided the patients into two different groups and survival was compared. Significantly shorter survival was observed in the patients who underwent pulmonary metastasectomy within 3 months after detection of pulmonary metastasis (group X, n = 35) than in those who underwent the surgery beyond 3 months (group Y, n = 33).Conclusions:
There were many cases of early relapse after metastasectomy when the interval from detection of pulmonary metastasis until pulmonary metastasectomy was short. Performing metastasectomy at least three months after detection of pulmonary metastasis may significantly improve the prognosis of patients.