Introduction: The purpose of this study was to identify independent unfavorable prognostic factors for patients who underwent video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery for resection of pulmonary metastases from colorectal cancer (CRC). Methods: Between January 2004 and December 2013, 131 patients with pulmonary metastases from CRC underwent the aforementioned procedure for the first time at our institution. Kaplan-Meier survival curves and log-rank tests were used to analyze the survival rates. Multivariate analyses were performed using the Cox proportional hazards regression model. Results: The 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) rate of these 131 patients was 34 %. Multivariate analyses showed two variables to be independent significant unfavorable prognostic factors for DFS: preoperative high serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) level and a greater number of pulmonary metastases. According to subgroup analyses that combined these two risk factors, the 5-year DFS rates were 58, 25, and 12 % for patients with 0, 1, or 2 risk factors, respectively. Conclusion: In patients who underwent video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery for pulmonary metastases from CRC, we identified two independent unfavorable prognostic factors for DFS: a high CEA level before metastasectomy and a greater number of pulmonary metastases. These factors can be used to identify higher- and lower-risk subgroups, which may help with selecting patients who would benefit the most from video-assisted thoracoscopic pulmonary metastasectomy.
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