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Ann Surg. 1998 Sep; 228(3): 355–365.
PMCID: PMC1191491

Retroperitoneal soft-tissue sarcoma: analysis of 500 patients treated and followed at a single institution.


OBJECTIVE: To analyze treatment and survival of a large cohort of patients with retroperitoneal soft-tissue sarcomas (STS) treated and prospectively followed at a single institution. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Retroperitoneal STS are relatively uncommon and constitute a difficult management problem. Although surgical resection is often difficult or impossible, current chemotherapy is not effective and radiation is limited by toxicity to adjacent structures. Thus, complete surgical resection remains the most effective modality for selected primary and recurrent disease. METHODS: Five hundred patients with retroperitoneal STS were admitted and treated between July 1, 1982, and September 30, 1997, and prospectively followed. Patient, tumor, and treatment variables were analyzed for disease-specific and disease-free survival. Survival was determined with the Kaplan-Meier method. Statistical significance was evaluated using the logrank test for univariate influence and Cox model stepwise regression for multivariate influence. RESULTS: Two hundred seventy-eight patients (56%) had primary disease and 222 (44%) recurrent disease. Median follow-up was 28 months (range 1 to 172 months), 40 months for survivors. Median survival was 72 months for patients with primary disease, 28 months for those with local recurrence, and 10 months for those with metastasis. For patients with primary or locally recurrent tumors, unresectable disease, incomplete resection, and high-grade tumors significantly reduced survival time. CONCLUSIONS: In this study of patients with retroperitoneal STS, stage at presentation, high histologic grade, unresectable primary tumor, and positive gross margin are strongly associated with the tumor mortality rate. Patients approached with curative intent should undergo aggressive attempts at complete surgical resection. Incomplete resection should be undertaken only for symptom relief.

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Selected References

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