Background: Oligometastatic disease (OD) is usually defined arbitrarily as a condition in which there are ≤ 5 metastases. Given limited disease, it is expected that patients with OD should have better prognosis compared to other metastatic patients and that they can potentially benefit from metastasis-directed therapy (MDT). In this study, we attempted to redefine OD based upon objective evidence that fulfill these assumptions. Methods: Chest CTSs of 773 patients with 15,947 lung metastases originating from ten malignancy types were evaluated. The number and largest diameter of each metastasis was recorded. Metastatic cluster was defined as a cluster of two or more metastases with diameter difference ≤ 1 mm. The prognostic power of seven statistical models on overall survival (OS) was analyzed. Findings: Both the number of metastases and metastatic clusters had a highly significant impact on OS (p < 0.0001, p = 0.003 respectively). Patients with a single metastasis or a single cluster of metastases (regardless of metastases number), equaling 16.2% of all patients, had significantly better prognosis compared to other patients (p = 0.0002). If metastases diameter variability is ignored, as in the standard definition of OD, then patients with 2–5 and 6–10 metastases would have a similar prognosis. Interpretation: Patients with a single cluster of metastases, theoretically originating from a single clone, have significantly better prognosis compared to patients with more than one cluster. Using this definition can potentially improve the results of MDT. The upper limit of metastases number should be determined by the technical capabilities of the MDT used.
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© 2023, The Author(s).
- Clonal origin
- Cluster of metastases