Pulmonary Metastasectomy versus Continued Active Monitoring in Colorectal Cancer (PulMiCC): a multi-centre randomized clinical trial
348/of 350 allowed) Background: Lung metastasectomy in the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer has been widely adopted without good evidence of survival or palliative benefit. We aimed to test its effectiveness in a randomised trial (RCT). Methods: Multidisciplinary teams in 13 hospitals recruited participants with potentially resectable lung metastases to a multicentre 2-arm RCT comparing active monitoring with or without metastasectomy. Other local or systemic treatments were decided by
... s were decided by the local team. Randomisation was remote and stratified by site with minimisation for age, sex, primary cancer stage, interval since primary resection, prior liver involvement, the number of metastases, and carcinoembryonic antigen. The central trial management group were blind to patient allocation until completion of the analysis. Analysis was on intention to treat with a margin for non-inferiority of 10%. Results: Between December 2010 and December 2016, 65 participants were randomised. Characteristics were well-matched in the two arms and similar to those in reported studies: age 35 to 86 (Inter Quartile Range (IQR) 60 to 74); primary resection IQR 16 to 35 months previously; stage at resection T1, 2 or 3 in 3, 8 and 46; N1 or N2 in 31 and 26; unknown in 8. Lung metastases 1 to 5 (median 2); 16/65 had previous liver metastases; carcinoembryonic antigen normal in 55/65. There were no other interventions in the first 6 months, no cross overs from control to treatment, and no treatment-related deaths or major adverse events. Hazard ratio for death within 5 years, comparing metastasectomy with control, was 0.82 (95%CI 0.43, 1.56). Conclusions: Because of poor and worsening recruitment, the study was stopped. The small number of participants in the trial (N=65) precludes a conclusive answer to the research question given the large overlap in the confidence intervals in the proportions still alive at all time points. A widely held belief is that the five-year absolute survival benefit with metastasectomy is about 35%: 40% after metastasectomy compared to <5% in controls. The estimated survival in this study was 38% (23-62%) for metastasectomy patients and 29% (16-52%) in the well-matched controls. That is the new and important finding of this RCT.