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Ther Adv Med Oncol. 2017 Jun;9(6):415-429. doi: 10.1177/1758834017705588. Epub 2017 Apr 16.

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy in soft tissue sarcomas: latest evidence and clinical implications.

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Sarcoma Service, Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milano, Italy.
Sarcoma Service, Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Via G Venezian 1, 20013 Milano, Italy.


Soft tissue sarcomas are a rare and multifaceted group of solid tumours. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is increasingly used to limit loss of function after wide surgical excision with the ultimate aim of improving patient survival. Recently, advances in the identification of effective treatment strategies and improvements in patient risk stratification have been reached. A randomized trial demonstrated that neoadjuvant epirubicin and ifosfamide improves survival of patients affected by five high-risk soft tissue sarcoma histologies of trunk and extremities, including undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma, myxoid liposarcoma, synovial sarcoma, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours, and leiomyosarcoma. Selection of patients for these treatments is expected to be improved by the eighth edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM staging system, as it tailors T-stage categories on primary tumour site and considers a prognostic nomogram for retroperitoneal sarcoma, which also includes soft tissue sarcoma histology and other patient and tumour features not directly included in the TNM staging. Within this framework, this article will present neoadjuvant treatment strategies for high-risk soft tissue sarcoma, emphasizing the most recent advances and discussing the need for further research to improve the effectiveness of neoadjuvant treatments.


chemotherapy; neoadjuvant; radiotherapy; soft tissue sarcoma; trial

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Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

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