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J Clin Oncol. 1999 Oct;17(10):3252-9.

Long-term outcomes after function-sparing surgery without radiotherapy for soft tissue sarcoma of the extremities and trunk.

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Center for Sarcoma & Bone Oncology and Division of Radiation Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston MA 02115, USA.



To define the rate of local recurrence (LR) and identify prognostic factors for LR for patients with soft tissue sarcoma (STS) treated with function-sparing surgery (FSS) without radiotherapy (RT).


Between 1970 and 1994, 242 patients with STS of the trunk and extremity presented with primary localized disease, 74 of whom were treated with FSS without RT (31%). The median tumor size was 4 cm (range, 0.5 to 31 cm). There were 40 patients with grade 1 tumors and 34 with grade 2 and 3 tumors. Median follow-up was 126 months.


The 10-year actuarial local control rate was 93% +/- 4%. Resection margin status was a significant predictor for LR. Patients with closest histologic resection margins of less than 1 cm had a 10-year local control rate of 87% +/- 6% compared with 100% for patients with closest histologic resection margins of >/= 1 cm (P =.04). There was no significant association between LR and tumor grade, size, site (truncal v extremity), or depth (superficial v deep). For all patients, the 10-year actuarial survival rate was 73% +/- 6%.


The 7% LR rate after treatment of STS with FSS without RT reported herein is comparable to published rates following treatment where adjuvant RT is used. These results suggest there may be a select subset of patients with STS in whom carefully performed FSS may serve as definitive therapy and in whom adjuvant RT may not be necessary. However, further study is needed to carefully define this subset of patients and to identify the optimal surgical approach and technique for patients treated without RT.

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