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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2004 Oct;43(5):587-93.

The value of postoperative radiotherapy in childhood nonrhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcoma.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.



To determine the value of postoperative radiotherapy (RT) in the management of nonrhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcoma (NRSTS) of childhood.


From 1964 to 2000, 62 children with a median age of 14 years were seen at the University of Iowa and underwent a wide local excision for non-metastatic NRSTS. Tumors were high grade in 36 (58%) and >5 cm in 24 (39%). Margins of resection were negative (Group I) in 37 (60%) and positive (Group II) in 25 (40%). Postoperative RT was delivered to 20 patients (32%); eight of 37 (22%) Group I and 12 of 25 (48%) Group II children received postoperative RT. Chemotherapy was employed in 19 patients (31%). Median follow-up was 9.6 years.


The 5- and 10-year overall survival rates for Group I were 69 and 63% and for Group II were 66 and 60%. The 5- and 10-year local control rate was 66%. On multivariate analysis, size of tumor (P < 0.001) and postoperative RT (P = 0.017) were prognostic factors for local control. All 13 Group I children with low grade, </=5 cm tumors were locally controlled without RT. For Group II patients, 2- and 5-year local control rates were 92 and 82% with postoperative RT and 51 and 43% for no RT (P = 0.0426).


Local control was improved by the addition of postoperative RT in tumors with positive margins of resection.

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