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J Am Coll Surg. 2002 Apr;194(4):436-47.

Completely resected recurrent soft tissue sarcoma: primary anatomic site governs outcomes.

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Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.



We define the natural history and influence of primary anatomic site for completely resected locally recurrent soft tissue sarcoma (STS) without distant metastasis.


We selected 290 patients having at least one local recurrence (LR) after complete resection of primary STS (all sites) between 1982 and 1999. Of these, 239 patients had complete resection of their first LR: 161 extremity-trunk and 78 retroperitoneal-head and neck-visceral-thoracic sarcomas. Study end points included second local recurrence-free survival, distant recurrence-free survival, and disease-specific survival, estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using a log-rank test and Cox's proportional hazards model for extremity-trunk and retroperitoneal (RP; n 39) tumor sites only.


Median followup was 82 months. Complete gross resection rates declined with each subsequent recurrence. Primary tumor site (extremity-trunk: relative risk ERR] 0.74, confidence interval [CI] 0.57 to 0.96, p = 0.03) and microscopic resection margin (negative: RR 0.80, CI 0.62 to 0.99, p 0.04) independently predicted subsequent local control. Extremity-trunk sire and high tumor grade were significant independent predictors of distant disease relapse after complete resection of LR. Site also had a notable influence on disease-specific survival: RP recurrence was associated with 1.4 times increased risk of tumor-related mortality (p = 0.02; 5-year disease-specific survival: extremity-trunk 70% versus RP 57%). High tumor grade was the most marked predictor of tumor-related mortality (RR 1.66, CI 1.28 to 2.18, p<0.001. Nine percent of extremity-trunk and 77% of RP STS-related deaths were caused by advanced LR without synchronous metastasis.


Site governs local control, distant recurrence-free and disease-specific survival for completely resected locally recurrent sarcoma without metastasis. Distant disease relapse determines outcomes for recurrent extremity-trunk STS, and local recurrence is the determinant of tumor-related death in the RP.

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