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Cancer. 1988 Dec 1;62(11):2330-40.

Postradiation soft tissue sarcomas. An analysis of 53 cases.

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  • 1Department of Soft Tissue Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C. 20306.


The clinicopathologic features of 53 cases of postradiation soft tissue sarcoma (PRS) were correlated with the physical characteristics of the administered radiation. All but three patients received radiation for malignant processes. Of the secondary sarcomas, malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) accounted for 36 cases (68%), followed by seven extraskeletal osteosarcomas (13%), six fibrosarcomas (11%), two malignant Schwannomas (4%), one extraskeletal chondrosarcoma, and one angiosarcoma. The sex incidence, age of the patient at time of diagnosis, and location of the PRS correlated only with the clinical characteristics of the initial treated condition. The latency period (mean 10 years) showed an indefinite relationship to patient survival but no definite relationship to the patient's age at the time of the initial radiation. There was no difference between patients treated with megavoltage radiation (39 patients) and with orthovoltage radiation (seven patients) in the type of sarcoma, location, or survival, although the orthovoltage group received a lower mean radiation dose (3880 rads) than the megavoltage group (4446 rads). Megavoltage radiation, however, produced deeper tissue radiation changes and was associated with a shorter latency period. Most PRS were poorly differentiated, produced abundant collagen, and had a dismal prognosis.

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