Objective: To analyse the clinicopathologic characteristics of visceral metastatic carcinoma of unknown primary site (VMCUP), discuss the relationship between its treatment and prognosis, and provide the basis for individualized clinical diagnosis and treatment.
Methods: A retrospective analysis on clinical pathologic data was performed on 21 VMCUP cases from Fujian Union Hospital from January 2007 to January 2012. Follow-up visits on patients were made and analysis of their survival conditions and relevant influencing factors were collated.
Results: The gender distribution of the 21 VMCUP cases was 1:1.1; the median age was 63 years and the pathology type was dominated by adenocarcinoma. The median survival time and survival rate in patients accepting treatment were evidently higher than those in patients not accepting treatment. The median survival time of those patients receiving more than one treatment procedure was higher than in those patients only receiving chemotherapy. Among those patients who received comprehensive therapy, the median survival time in those mainly receiving operative therapy was also higher than in those only receiving chemotherapy (p < 0.05). The median survival time in those receiving chemotherapy > two cycles or > four cycles was evidently longer than those receiving chemotherapy ≤ two cycles or ≤ four cycles separately. For those choosing paclitaxel in combination with platinum as first-line chemotherapy, their median survival time was longer than those primarily taking fluorouracil (p < 0.05). In addition, there were no statistical differences (p > 0.05) in the median survival times among groups receiving the same treatment but with different age, gender or pathological types. It was indicated by multiple-factor analysis that the chemotherapeutics, chemotherapy times and treatment methods were prognostic factors affecting the survival of VMCUP.
Conclusion: The overall progression of VMCUP patients deteriorates quickly, with a poor prognosis and without a standard treatment pattern. Appropriate chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy, however, could play an active role in controlling the state of illness. For the patients who accepted chemotherapy, the curative effect could be further improved with the increase of chemotherapy cycles and application of new drugs, such as paclitaxel, and comprehensive treatment could more effectively prolong the survival time of patients.*Co-first authors