Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

AimThe aim of this work was to examine the burden of further treatments in patients with colorectal cancer following a decision about lung metastasectomy.MethodFive teams participating in the Pulmonary Metastasectomy in Colorectal Cancer (PulMiCC) study provided details on subsequent local treatments for lung metastases, including the use of chemotherapy. For patients in three groups (no metastasectomy, one metastasectomy or multiple local interventions), baseline factors and selection criteria for additional treatments were examined.ResultsThe five teams recruited 220 patients between October 2010 and January 2017. No lung metastasectomy was performed in 51 patients, 114 patients had one metastasectomy and 55 patients had multiple local interventions. Selection for initial metastasectomy was associated with nonelevated carcinoembryonic antigen, fewer metastases and no prior liver metastasectomy. These patients also had better Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group scores and lung function at baseline. Four sites provided information on chemotherapy in 139 patients: 79 (57%) had one to five courses of chemotherapy, to a total of 179 courses. The patterns of survival after one or multiple metastasectomy interventions showed evidence of guarantee-time bias contributing to an impression of benefit over no metastasectomy. After repeated metastasectomy, a significantly higher risk of death was observed, with no apparent reduction in chemotherapy usage.ConclusionRepeated metastasectomy is associated with a higher risk of death without reducing the use of chemotherapy. Continued monitoring without surgery might reassure patients with indolent disease or allow response assessment during systemic treatment. Overall, the carefully collected information from the PulMICC study provides no indication of an important survival benefit from metastasectomy.

Original publication




Journal article


Colorectal disease : the official journal of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland

Publication Date





2911 - 2922


Clinical Operational Research Unit, University College London, London, UK.


PulMiCC investigators, Humans, Colorectal Neoplasms, Lung Neoplasms, Prognosis, Survival Rate, Cohort Studies, Metastasectomy