Background Purely localized, oligometastatic, and widely metastatic tumors are likely to require different therapeutic strategies. Although surgical procedures for isolated pulmonary, brain, or adrenal metastases from lung cancer have been extensively evaluated, most data are from retrospective studies; accordingly, we conducted a prospective multicenter trial. Methods Patients were eligible if they had previously untreated clinical T1-2N0-1 lung cancer with single-organ metastasis, or single-organ metachronous metastasis after complete resection of pathologic T1-2N0-1 lung cancer. Metastatic lesions were classified into three groups: group A included metastasis in single organs other than brain or lung; group B included synchronous brain metastasis; and group C included pulmonary metastasis. The treatment intervention was surgical resection of metachronous metastasis or of both synchronous metastasis and primary lung cancer. Results From December 2002 through June 2011, 36 patients were enrolled. Two patients were ineligible, and the remaining 34 were analyzed; 6 (18%) had a benign lesion and no metastasis, 5 patients (15%) underwent incomplete resection of primary lung cancer, and 20 patients (59%) underwent complete resection of both primary lung cancer and metastasis. The 5-year survival rate for these 20 cases was 44.7%. Conclusions Clinical T1-2N0-1 lung cancer with a single-organ metastatic lesion was a good candidate for surgical resection. A 5-year survival rate of about 40% can be expected, which could be comparable with that for stage II non-small cell lung cancer.
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