What is the prognosis of secondary lung tumors?

Updated: Feb 08, 2019
  • Author: Daniel S Schwartz, MD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, DSc, MSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

The presence of metastasis indicates an advanced stage of the malignant process. In certain circumstances, however, depending on the underlying primary malignancy and the selection criteria for surgery, surgical resection with curative intent can be performed, with an expected 5-year survival rate of 30-40%.

The following 5-year survival rates have been reported after resection of single pulmonary metastasis of the metastatic cancers known to respond favorably to surgical treatment:

  • Adenoid cystic carcinoma - 63%
  • Testicular cancer - 60%
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the head and neck - 40-50%
  • Colon cancer - 40%
  • Breast cancer - 30-50%
  • Soft-tissue sarcomas - 38%
  • Renal cell cancer - 30-35%
  • Osteogenic sarcoma - 20-57%

Solitary lung metastasis has a significantly better prognosis than does metastasis at any other visceral site in metastatic malignant melanoma, with a median survival of 8.3 months and a 5-year survival rate of 4%. The other important independent outcome predictor in metastatic malignant melanoma is the disease-free interval prior to the identification of metastatic disease (< 12 months vs >12 months).


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