PURPOSE - We evaluated outcomes in cases of renal cell carcinoma metastatic to the lung treated with surgery or biological therapy followed by surgery.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - We retrospectively evaluated 22 patients treated with surgical resection and 29 treated with biological therapy followed by surgery.
RESULTS - At the time of this study 31 patients (61%) were alive, including 15 with no residual disease and 16 with disease. Of the 22 patients treated with surgery without initial biological therapy 12 (55%) were alive at a median followup of 57 months (range 17 to 148) and 19 of the 29 (66%) treated with combination therapy were alive at a median followup of 48 months (range 19 to 78). A total of 19 patients (37%) died of progressive disease.
CONCLUSIONS - Our results suggest a role for an aggressive surgical approach in select patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma, and demonstrate that patients who do not achieve a complete response to biological therapy may benefit from surgical resection of residual disease.