Pulmonary Resection for Metastatic Head and Neck Cancer

Chen, Fengshi; Sonobe, Makoto; Sato, Kiyoshi; Fujinaga, Takuji; Shoji, Tsuyoshi; Sakai, Hiroaki; Miyahara, Ryo; Bando, Toru; Okubo, Kenichi; Hirata, Toshiki; Date, Hiroshi
August 2008
World Journal of Surgery;Aug2008, Vol. 32 Issue 8, p1657
Academic Journal
Pulmonary metastasectomy has become the standard therapy for various metastatic malignancies to the lungs; however, little data have been available about lung metastasectomy for head and neck cancers. To confirm a role for resection of pulmonary metastases for such tumors, we reviewed our institutional experience. Between 1991 and 2007, 20 patients with pulmonary metastases from head and neck cancers underwent complete pulmonary resection. All patients had obtained or had obtainable locoregional control of their primary head and neck cancers. Various perioperative variables were investigated retrospectively to analyze the prognostic factors for overall survival and disease-free survival after metastasectomy. Of the 20 patients, 10 (50%) had squamous cell carcinoma, 7 (35%) had adenoid cystic carcinoma, and 3 had miscellaneous carcinomas. The median disease-free interval from the time of treatment of the head and neck primary cancers to the development of pulmonary metastases was 27 months. Overall survival rate after metastasectomy was 59.4% at 5 years and 47.5% at 10 years, respectively. Disease-free survival rate was 25.0% at 5 years after pulmonary resection. A disease-free interval equal to or longer than 12 months was a significantly favorable prognostic factor for both overall survival and disease-free survival ( p = 0.02 and 0.01, respectively). Patients with squamous cell carcinoma and male sex showed a worse overall survival ( p = 0.04 and 0.03, respectively). The current practice of pulmonary metastasectomy for head and neck cancers in our institution was well justified. A disease-free interval equal to or longer than 12 months, nonsquamous cell carcinoma, and female sex might be relevant to a better prognosis.


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