Pulmonary metastasectomy for osteogenic and soft tissue sarcoma: who really benefits from surgical treatment?

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Surgical resection is widely accepted as a beneficial treatment of pulmonary metastases originating from osteogenic and soft tissue sarcomas despite adequate validation. The factors associated with the selection of patients who receive pulmonary metastasectomy (PM) are controversial and not well known. In this study, we aimed to identify the prognostic factors associated with survival after treatment with PM and to disclose the candidates who profit from PM being performed on patients with osteogenic and soft tissue sarcomas.


We retrospectively reviewed the variables and survival outcomes in 52 consecutive patients who underwent PM to treat lung metastases originating from osteogenic and soft tissue malignancies from April 1996 to January 2011. Prognostic factors associated with overall survival after the first PM were evaluated using univariate and multivariate analyses.


Fifty-eight PM procedures were performed in 52 patients as the first PM including 6 bilateral diseases. Wedge resection was the most frequently performed PM procedure (84%), and video-assisted thoracic surgery was introduced in 34 (59%). The median follow-up of the patients was 33 months and the 5-year survival rate after the first PM was 50.9%. Forty-eight (92%) patients underwent complete resection during the first PM. Thirty-three patients (62%) experienced relapse after the first PM. Among those patients, 20 received redo surgeries for pulmonary relapse, and the 5-year survival rate in this group was 49.7%. According to univariate analyses, the use of complete resection, the number of metastatic nodules (one or two) and the length of the disease-free interval prior to the first PM were each found to be significant favourable factors. According to a multivariate analysis, the use of complete resection and the number of metastatic nodules were both found to be independent prognostic factors associated with overall survival. Although our cohort included 15 patients with poor prognostic factors (29%), 5 patients who underwent redo surgery survived >22 months.


The survival of those patients with one or two pulmonary nodules and those who underwent complete resection was favourable following the treatment of osteogenic and soft tissue sarcomas with PM. Redo surgery may also provide some survival benefit in patients with poor prognostic factors.

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