Midterm Changes in Quality of Life: A Prospective Evaluation After Open Pulmonary Metastasectomy

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Pulmonary metastasectomy has gained the status of a standard treatment for oligometastases of various primaries. Given that the consequences for quality of life (QoL) remain unclear, we initiated this study to characterize the therapy-induced effects of pulmonary metastasectomy on QoL.


From 2008 to 2010, patients scheduled for metastasectomy were prospectively evaluated using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-C30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) and the lung cancer module (LC13) questionnaire and again 3 months later. We analyzed QoL changes over time and looked for sex-specific and age-specific (<70 versus >70 years) differences.


A total of 126 cases were analyzed. The median age of the 73 male and 53 female patients was 59.2 years (range, 24.2 to 83.9). There was no significant change between preoperative and postoperative QoL values for emotional, cognitive, and social functioning. Significant deterioration of QoL items was found for physical functioning (−11.0; p < 0.001), role functioning (−16.4; p < 0.001), fatigue (11.1; p < 0.001), pain (15.0; p < 0.001), and dyspnea (16.9; p < 0.001). There were no differences between sexes concerning preoperative and postoperative scores. Younger patients (<70 years) had more preoperative symptoms (1.9; p = 0.03) and a worse function (2.2; p = 0.04). A tendency was found for decreased global QoL (−6.0; p = 0.08) in the older age group (>70 years) after metastasectomy.


Pulmonary metastasectomy can be offered every patient with a chance of cure or prolongation of life because the anticipated midterm changes in QoL are of moderate clinical importance, and the change in global health-related QoL is trivial.

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