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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2000 March;55(3):121-8


language: Italian

Complete resection of isolated lung metastases from breast cancer leads to a marked prolongation of survival

Murabito M., Salat A., Mueller M. R.


Background. Surgical treatment of pulmonary resection for metastatic disease has been proven a valuable therapeutic concept for a variety of neoplasms. Concerning breast cancer, at least 25% of patients develope distant metastases. In spite of increasingly sophisticated palliative therapies, the survival of these patients did not appear significantly prolonged during the last 25 years (19-32 months following diagnosis) and about 95% die from metastatic disease.
Methods. Between 1977 and 1997, three epidemiological comparable groups out of a total of 125 patients of our clinic were treated for isolated pulmonary metastasis following breast cancer. Complete data from 96 patients were retrospectively analyzed following stratification to three groups according their surgical therapy: C, complete resection, 28 patients; I, incomplete resection, 34 patients; N, no resection, 34 patients.
Results. Comparison of the three therapy methods concerning stage, histology and receptor levels of the primary tumor, number of metastases and the disease free interval (DFI), as well as adjuvant therapy modalities yielded no significant differences. Mean survival of group C was with 79 months (5-years-survival 80%, 10-years-survival 60%) significantly better compared to groups I and N (p<0.00002). Mean survival of group I and N was not significantly different (15,5 and 9 months respectively). The DFI had no impact on the survival of group C, but showed a high correlation with the survival of group N (R2=0,81).
Conclusions. Routine chest X-ray is necessary in the follow-up of breast cancer patients and if coin lesions occur, thoracic surgeon should be contacted.

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