Aggressive metastasectomy for pulmonic sarcomatous metastases: A follow-up study

Daniel A. Saltzman, Charles L. Snyder, Kathy L. Ferrell, Roby C. Thompson, Arnold S. Leonard

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Pulmonary metastases are the primary cause of death due to bone and soft tissue sarcomas. We have previously shown that an aggressive approach and a new technique of multiple pulmonary metastasectomies have resulted in improved survival for patients with pulmonary metastases. In this followup study, an expanded database of patients was retrospectively analyzed to determine survivability as well as to evaluate potential prognostic indicators. Forty-nine patients, 26 of whom had osteogenic sarcoma (OGS), were evaluated. A number of patients had been referred from other institutions where their disease had been considered inoperable because it was extensive or recurrent. Using lateral thoracotomies exclusively, employment of a laser technique, and excision of minimal pulmonary parenchymal tissue, we performed aggressive metastasectomy. A mean of 3.0 thoracotomies was performed, in which an average of 10.2 nodules per thoractomy were excised. Operative morbidity and mortality were minimal. The disease-free interval, the number of nodules resected, the number of thoracotomies performed, and the size of the nodules were evaluated as potential prognostic indicators. Statistically significant correlation could be established only for the size of the nodules resected. The 5-year survival rate for all patients was 39%; it was 24% for patients with OGS and 71% for those without OGS. Aggressive surgical resection of pulmonary metastases from bone and soft tissue sarcoma should be considered when there is control of local disease, no evidence of extrapulmonary metastasis, and adequate post-resection pulmonary reserve. The presence of bilateral, extensive, or recurrent disease is not a contraindication to thoracotomy. Aggressive resection of multiple nodules and improved chemotherapy appear to prolong survival of these patients when compared with survival rates of historical control subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-547
Number of pages5
JournalThe American Journal of Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1993


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