The benefit of surgical resections for pulmonary metastasis has been reported in numerous reports.

Pulmonary metastasectomy was first reported in Germany in 1882 but only much later its survival benefit was demostrated by Alexander and Haight. (1)

They were the first to require standards for patients selection, such as good primary tumor control and absence of extrathoracic disease. Those principles, joined to sufficient cardiopulmonary reserve, are still to the base of surgical strategy for lung metastasectomy.

Despite the wide range of tumor histologies and diverse patient populations, 5-years survival rates are similar for pulmonary metastasectomy. Complete resecion, disease-free interval and number of metastases are relevant prognostic factors. (2) 

The optimal approach for lung metastases resections depends on anatomic characteristics of the lesions. An expertized surgeon can apply any method to fit the best surgical option, such as video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery or muscle-sparing thoracotomy with a minimally invasive procedure that offers an effective cure.


(1). Alexander J, Haight C. Pulmonary resection for solitary metastatic sarcomas and carcinomas. Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics. 1947; 85(2): 129-46.

(2). Long-term results of lung metastasectomy: prognostic analyses based on 5206 cases. The International Registry of Lung Metastases. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 1997; 113(1): 37-49.


Dr. Matteo Incarbone, MD, Director of Thoracic and Breast Surgical Unit in San Giuseppe Hospital, Milan.

Professor of Anatomy at Università degli Studi of Milan.


For appointment

Studio Medico FDA. Via Vincenzo MONTI 79/3, Milano. Phone 0039.331.45.20.999


Ambulatorio Polispecialistico CAM - Viale Brianza 21, Monza. Tel. 0039.39.23971




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Dott. Matteo Incarbone, Dr. Matteo Incarbone, Studio Medico FDA. Via Vincenzo MONTI 79/3, Milano, Ambulatorio Polispecialistico CAM - Viale Brianza 21, Monza, Professor of Anatomy at Universit degli Studi of Milan, Metastasi polmonari, Tumore Colon-retto, Tumore Mammella, Melanoma, sarcoma, Tumore testa-collo