Radiotherapy for Soft Tissue Sarcomas after Isolated Limb Perfusion and Surgical Resection: Essential for Local Control in All Patients?

Jan Deroose, Pim Burger, AN Geel, Michael den Bakker, Hans Jong, Lex Eggermont, Kees Verhoef

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Standard treatment for localized soft tissue sarcoma (STS) is resection plus adjuvant radiotherapy (RTx). In approximately 10% of cases, resection would cause severe loss of function or even require amputation because of the extent of disease. Isolated limb perfusion (ILP) with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and melphalan can achieve regression of the tumor, facilitating limb-saving resection. RTx improves local control but may lead to increased morbidity. In our database of over 500 ILPs, 122 patients with unifocal STS were treated by ILP followed by limb-sparing surgery. All included patients were candidates for amputation. Surgery resulted in 69 R0 resections (57%), and in 53 specimens (43%) resection margins contained microscopic evidence of tumor (R1). Histopathological examination revealed > 50% ILP-induced tumor necrosis in 59 cases (48%). RTx was administered in 73 patients (60%). Local recurrence rate was 21% after median follow-up of 31 months (2-182 months). Recurrence was significantly less in patients with > 50% ILP-induced necrosis versus a parts per thousand currency sign50% necrosis (7% vs. 33%, P = 0.001). A similar significant correlation was observed for R0 versus R1 resections (15% vs. 28%, P = 0.04). In 36 patients with R0 resection and > 50% necrosis, of whom 21 were spared RTx, no recurrences were observed during follow-up. In patients with locally advanced primary STS, treated with ILP followed by R0 resection, and with > 50% ILP-induced necrosis in the resected specimen, RTx is of no further benefit.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)321-327
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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