Purpose: The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the relevance of surgery in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with ipsilateral pulmonary metastases. Methods: The clinical records of 1,623 consecutive NSCLC patients who underwent surgery between 1990 and 2007 were retrospectively reviewed. Overall, 161 (9.9 %) and 21 (1.3 %) patients had additional nodules in the same lobe as the primary lesion (PM1) and additional nodules in the ipsilateral different lobe (PM2), respectively. Results: The 5-year survival rate was 54.4 % in the PM1 patients and 19.3 % in the PM2 patients (log-rank test: p = 0.001). Tumor size ≤3 cm, N0-1 status and surgical procedures less extensive than bilobectomy were identified as favorable prognostic factors in the PM1 patients. The 5-year survival rate in the PM1-N0-1 patients was 68.7 %, while that in the PM1-N2-3 patients was 29.1 % (p < 0.0001). Compared to the non-PM1 stage IIIA patients, the stage IIIA patients with PM1 disease (PM1-N1) tended to experience longer survival times (p = 0.06). Squamous cell types and bilobectomy or more extensive procedures were found to be unfavorable factors in the PM2 patients. The survival of the PM2 patients was significantly worse than that of the other T4 patients (p = 0.007). Conclusions: PM1 patients with N0-1 disease are good candidates for surgery, whereas PM2 patients do not appear to benefit from surgery.
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