Salvage surgery for local recurrences after stereotactic ablative radiotherapy of colorectal pulmonary metastases

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Introduction: Local control following stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) for patients with colorectal pulmonary metastases is reportedly lower than for metastases from other tumors. Such recurrences may still be amenable to salvage therapy. We describe our experience with salvage surgery in 17 patients. Methods: Patients who underwent salvage metastasectomy for a local recurrence following SABR for colorectal pulmonary metastases were identified from the surgical institutional databases of three Dutch major referral hospitals. Kaplan–Meier survival analysis was performed to determine survival. Results: Seventeen patients underwent 20 salvage resections for local recurrence of colorectal pulmonary metastases. All patients had a progressive lesion on consecutive CT scans, with local uptake on 18fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography computed tomography (FDG-PET CT), and were discussed in a thoracic oncology tumor board. Median time to local recurrence following SABR was 20 months (interquartile range [IQR]: 13−29). Fourteen procedures were performed minimally invasively. Extensive adhesions were observed during three procedures. A Clavien–Dindo grade III–IV complication occurred after four resections (20%). The 90-day mortality was 0%. The estimated median overall survival and progression-free survival following salvage resection were 71 months (confidence intervals [CI]: 50–92) and 39 months (CI: 19–58), respectively. Salvage resections were significantly more extensive, compared to the potential resection assessed on pre-SABR imaging. Conclusions: Our experience with 20 salvage pulmonary metastasectomy procedures for local recurrences following SABR in colorectal cancer patients demonstrates that salvage resection is a feasible option with acceptable morbidity and good oncological outcome in a highly selected cohort.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1114-1120
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of surgical oncology
Issue number7
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • SABR
  • colorectal pulmonary metastases
  • lung metastases
  • pulmonary metastasectomy
  • salvage metastasectomy
  • salvage surgery

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