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Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2015:e629-33. doi: 10.14694/EdBook_AM.2015.35.e629.

Adjuvant chemotherapy for soft tissue sarcoma.

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From the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milan, Italy.


Adjuvant chemotherapy is not standard treatment in soft tissue sarcoma (STS). However, when the risk of relapse is high, it is an option for shared decision making with the patient in conditions of uncertainty. This is because available evidence is conflicting, even if several randomized clinical trials have been performed for 4 decades and also have been pooled into meta-analyses. Indeed, available meta-analyses point to a benefit in the 5% to 10% range in terms of survival and distant relapse rate. Some local benefit also was suggested by some trials. Placing chemotherapy in the preoperative setting may help gain a local advantage in terms of the quality of surgical margins or decreased sequelae. This may be done within a personalized approach according to the clinical presentation. Attempts to personalize treatment on the basis of the variegated pathology and molecular biology of STS subgroups are ongoing as well, according to what is done in the medical treatment of advanced STS. Thus, decision making for adjuvant and neoadjuvant indications deserves personalization in clinical research and in clinical practice, taking profit from all multidisciplinary clinical skills available at a sarcoma reference center, though with a degree of subjectivity because of the limitations of available evidence.

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