Until recently, patients with cancer and distant metastases were considered incurable. However, nowadays, some of these patients are eligible for curative-intent therapy. Surgery of metastases is becoming an increasingly important part of this ever-evolving therapy. The introduction of minimally invasive surgical techniques has resulted in more resections being performed of pulmonary metastases, even in elderly patients. Low postoperative morbidity and mortality rates have been observed after pulmonary metastasectomy. This is also true for elderly patients as age has not been linked to postoperative morbidity. Long-term survival is better for patients undergoing pulmonary metastasectomy compared to non-surgically treated patients. However, selection bias plays an important role as only relatively fit patients can tolerate surgery and their prognosis is therefore better from the onset. The question therefore remains whether pulmonary metastasectomy, a non-evidence-based treatment, is justified.
Conflict of interest and financial support: none declared.