What to choose as radical local treatment for lung metastases from cob-rectal cancer: Surgery or radiofrequency ablation?

Roe C. J. Schlijper*, Janneke P. C. Grutters, Ruud Houben, Anne-Marie C. Dingemans, Joachim E. Wildberger, Dirk Van Raemdonck, Eric Van Cutsem, Karin Haustermans, Guido Lammering, Philippe Lambin, Dirk De Ruysscher

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Long-term survival can be obtained with local treatment of lung metastases from colorectal cancer. However, it is unclear as to what the optimal local therapy is: surgery, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or stereotactic radiotherapy (SBRT). Methods: A systematic review included 27 studies matching with the a priori selection criteria, the most important being >= 50 patients and a follow-up period of >= 24 months. No SBRT studies were eligible. The review was therefore conducted on 4 RFA and 23 surgical series. Results: Four of the surgical studies were prospective, all others were retrospective. No randomized trial was found. The reporting of data differed between the studies, which led to difficulties in the analyses. Treatment-related mortality rates for RFA and surgery were 0% and 1.4-2.4%, respectively, whereas morbidity rates were reported inconsistently but seemed the lowest for surgery. Conclusion: Due to the lack of phase III trials, no firm conclusions can be drawn, although most evidence supports surgery as the most effective treatment option. High-quality trials comparing currently used treatment modalities such as SBRT, RFA and surgery are needed to inform treatment decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-67
JournalCancer Treatment Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Lung metastases
  • Colon cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Cancer
  • Surgery
  • RFA

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