Purpose: Stage IV disease at initial presentation accounts for approximately 41% of newly diagnosed cases with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Although the majority of these patients have disseminated metastatic disease at diagnosis, a small percentage of them are found to have a solitary site of extrathoracic metastasis. In addition, patients who have received surgical or multimodality treatment with curative intent may experience metachronous solitary distant recurrences during the natural course of their disease. Our aim was to review the possible role of surgical resection in the management of NSCLC with solitary hematogenous metastasis. Methods: We performed electronic literature search of PubMed, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library for articles in English using a number of key words. Results: All identified studies reported survival benefit for patients operated for their single metastatic lesion. Patients with metachronous disease had slightly better prognosis than those with synchronous metastatic lesions. We found no prospective randomized trials comparing surgical and non-surgical treatment modalities for NSCLC with solitary hematogenous metastasis. Conclusions: Available evidence supports the presumption that in highly selected patients with isolated synchronous or metachronous hematogenous metastasis surgical resection as part of an aggressive approach positively affects patients' survival. Factors that are in favor of a satisfactory outcome include control of primary site, confirmed solitary metastatic disease, good performance status (PS), metachronous lesions and longer disease-free interval (DFI). Prospective randomized trials are necessary to provide stronger evidence. Finally, it is worth investigating the biology of these tumors presenting with single-site distant metastasis.

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Karagkiouzis G, Koulaxouzidis G, Tomos P, Spartalis ED, Konstantinou F, Charpidou A, SYrigos KN. J BUON 2012;17(4):712-718