Background: Pulmonary metastasectomies are performed for a variety of cancers, though few reports have examined their merit for head and neck cancers. This study examined the relationship between clinical and pathological characteristics and survival after resection of lung metastases of these cancers. Methods: Between 1986 and 2013, 34 patients presenting with pulmonary metastases of primary head or neck cancers underwent surgical resections at our institution. We retrospectively analyzed their clinical and pathological characteristics and the patients' survival after metastasectomy in search of adverse prognostic factors. Results: The primary sites of cancer were: the tongue in eight patients, the pharynx and salivary glands each in seven, the larynx in five, and miscellaneous sites in seven patients. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) was present in 19, adenoid cystic carcinomas in 10, and other diagnoses in five patients. The median disease-free interval (DFI) between the initial surgery and the metastasectomies was 40 months. The overall five-year survival rate was 57.9%, and median survival time was 77 months. By single variable analysis, a DFI of ≤26 months, age ≥60 years, and histology of SCC were predictors; by multiple variable analysis, a short DFI (P = 0.018) and older age (P = 0.046) remained independent predictors of poor clinical outcomes. Conclusions: Young age and a long DFI are factors in favor of pulmonary metastasectomy after surgical treatment of primary head or neck cancers.
- Cancer survival
- Head and neck cancer
- Pulmonary metastasis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine