The Epidemiology of Lung Metastases

Hanbo Chen, Kelsey C. Stoltzfus, Eric J. Lehrer, Samantha R. Horn, Shankar Siva, Daniel M. Trifiletti, Mao Bin Meng, Vivek Verma, Alexander V. Louie, Nicholas G. Zaorsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Introduction: Lung metastasis is usually associated with poor outcomes in cancer patients. This study was performed to characterize and analyze the population of patients with de novo (synchronous) lung metastases using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database. Materials and Methods: Baseline characteristics of lung metastasis patients were obtained from SEER case listings. Incidence rates and counts of synchronous lung metastasis were also obtained using the SEER*Stat software. Survival outcomes were analyzed using univariate and multivariable Cox regressions, controlling for confounders. An alpha threshold of 0.05 was used for statistical significance and p-values were subject to correction for multiple comparisons. Results: The age-adjusted incidence rate of synchronous lung metastasis was 17.92 per 100,000 between 2010 and 2015. Synchronous lung metastases most commonly arose from primary lung cancers, colorectal cancers, kidney cancers, pancreatic cancers and breast cancers. During this time period, 4% of all cancer cases presented with synchronous lung metastasis. The percentage of patients presenting with synchronous lung metastasis ranged from 0.5% of all prostate cancers to 13% of all primary lung cancers. The percentage of all cancer cases presenting with synchronous lung metastasis increased over time. De novo metastatic patients with lung metastases had worse overall survival [hazard ratio = 1.22 (1.21–1.23), p < 0.001] compared to those with only extrapulmonary metastases, controlling for potential confounders. Conclusions: Synchronous lung metastasis occurs frequently and is an independent predictors of poor patient outcomes. As treatment for lung metastases becomes more complicated, patients with synchronous lung metastasis represent a high-risk population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number723396
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
StatePublished - Sep 20 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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