Pulmonary resection of metastatic renal cell carcinoma

Robert J. Cerfolio, Mark S. Allen, Claude Deschamps, Richard C. Daly, Steven L. Wallrichs, Victor F. Trastek, Peter C. Pairolero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Between 1965 and 1989, 96 consecutive patients (64 men and 32 women) underwent complete pulmonary resection for metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Median age was 69 years (range, 33 to 82 years). Median time between nephrectomy and pulmonary resection was 3.4 years (range, 0 to 18.4 years). Forty-eight patients had solitary metastasis, 16 had two, 18 had three, and 14 had more than three. Wedge excision was performed in 62 patients, segmentectomy in 3, lobectomy in 25, bilobectomy in 3, and pneumonectomy in 3. Fourteen patients had repeat thoracotomy for recurrent metastasis; 34 other patients also had complete resection of limited extrapulmonary disease. There were no operative deaths. Median follow-up was 3 years (range, 70 days to 19.0 years). Overall 5-year survival was 35.9%. Patients with solitary metastasis had a 5-year survival of 45.6% compared with 27.0% for patients with multiple metastases (p < 0.05). Patients with a tumor-free interval greater than the median of 3.4 years had a better survival (p = 0.05) than those with a tumor-free interval less than or equal to 3.4 years. Fiveyear survival for patients who underwent repeat thoracotomy or had complete resection of extrapulmonary disease did not differ from overall survival. We conclude that resection of renal lung metastasis is safe and effective, that patients with solitary metastasis have a better survival than those with multiple metastases, that resectable extrapulmonary disease does not necessarily contraindicate pulmonary resection, and that repeat thoracotomy is warranted in selected patients with recurrent lung metastases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-344
Number of pages6
JournalThe Annals of thoracic surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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