Lung metastases from a primary extrapulmonary malignancy are often a manifestation of widespread dissemination; however, some patients have no other evidence of disease . Extensive experience with pulmonary metastasectomy in a number of different cancers has confirmed that resection is associated with prolonged relapse-free survival and cure in some patients . Based upon these observations, aggressive resection of isolated pulmonary metastases has become a widely accepted treatment for appropriately selected patients. However, a survival benefit from pulmonary metastasectomy has never been shown in a randomized trial for any histologic subtype, and questions remain as to whether it is the resection or simply selection of patients with a more favorable natural history that is responsible for the apparent improvement in survival associated with metastasectomy.
Data from the International Registry of Lung Metastases showed that the survival rates at 5, 10, and 15 years following complete resection in a variety of histologic tumor types were 36, 26, and 22 percent, respectively . The survival rate is influenced by the disease-free interval, number of metastases, extent of resection. The potential benefits of resection and the approach to the patient are also dependent upon the histology of the tumor . (See "Surgical resection of pulmonary metastases: Benefits; indications; preoperative evaluation and techniques".)
This topic review will cover the outcomes of pulmonary metastasectomy in various tumor types, and the use of adjuvant therapy following resection, where indicated. Specific issues related to patients undergoing resection of lung metastases from soft tissue sarcoma, and a general discussion of the benefits of pulmonary metastasectomy, selection criteria, preoperative evaluation and techniques for surgical resection are discussed elsewhere. (See "Surgical treatment and other localized therapy for metastatic soft tissue sarcoma" and "Surgical resection of pulmonary metastases: Benefits; indications; preoperative evaluation and techniques".)
The integration of surgery into multidisciplinary therapy for patients with specific malignancies is discussed in the appropriate topic reviews.
SOFT TISSUE SARCOMA
Soft tissue sarcomas primarily metastasize to the lungs, and surgery is the only potential curative treatment. The role of surgery in the treatment of lung metastases from soft tissue sarcoma is discussed elsewhere. (See "Surgical treatment and other localized therapy for metastatic soft tissue sarcoma", section on 'Pulmonary metastases'.)