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Sarcoma. 1998 Jun; 2(2): 89–96.
PMCID: PMC2395385

Disease Incidence and Results of Extremity Lesion Treatment: Mersey Region Soft Tissue Sarcomas (1975–1985)


Purpose. The incidence and treatment results of extremity soft tissue sarcoma (STS) in the Mersey Region, in the absence of a Multi-Disciplinary Unit, for the period 1975–1985, have been analysed.

Subjects and methods. Data from cases presenting with STS within the Mersey region, from 1 January 1975 until 31 December 1985, were reviewed. Only patients with sarcoma of head and neck, thoracic wall, abdominal wall, retroperitoneum, limb girdle or extremity were included. Extremity lesions were staged according to the MTS system. Pathological data also were assigned a grade according to tumour differentiation, mitosis count and tumour necrosis. Data from patients with a minimum follow-up of 5 years were collated, and patterns of treatment failure were investigated. Finally, time to first occurrence was analysed.

Results and Discussion. The incidence of STS in this study was identical to that reported by the US Department of Health in 1976. Five year survival rate for Stage I tumours was only 51.7% which compares very unfavourably with contemporary series from Multi-Disciplinary Units. Five year survival rate following wide local excision ± adjuvant therapy is 52.4%, while that following amputation ± adjuvant therapy is 45.5%. While not attaining the results reported by other centres, limb-sparing surgery does not appear to appreciably prejudice long-term survival.

Conclusions. STS are rare in the UK, leading to poor classification and suboptimal treatment of lesions. It is important to establish multidisciplinary teams of surgeons, radiologists, radiotherapists and oncologists to plan and organise multimodality therapy for STS.

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Selected References

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