Patterns of recurrence in extremity liposarcoma: Implications for staging and follow-up

David B. Pearlstone, Peter W.T. Pisters, Richard J. Bold, Barry W. Feig, Kelly K. Hunt, Alan W. Yasko, Shreyaskumar Patel, Alan Pollack, Robert S. Benjamin, Raphael E. Pollock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Liposarcoma is one of the most common histologic types of soft tissue sarcoma and presents a wide spectrum of clinical behavior. The authors examined the correlation among histologic subtypes, outcomes, and patterns of recurrence among patients with extremity liposarcomas. METHODS. A retrospective review of all patients with intermediate and high grade extremity liposarcoma referred to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center from January 1, 1980, to December 31, 1992, was performed. Data on clinical presentation, treatment, patterns of treatment failure, and outcome were evaluated. RESULTS. During the 13-year study period, 122 patients with intermediate or high grade extremity liposarcoma were identified: 102 patients (84%) with myxoid subtype, 18 patients (15%) with pleomorphic subtype, and 2 patients (2%) with mixed histology. There were no differences between the myxoid and pleomorphic subtype groups in tumor size (T1 vs. T2), depth in relation to the muscular fascia, or anatomic site. The median follow-up was 70 months. The 5-year overall survival rate for all intermediate and high grade extremity liposarcoma patients presenting with primary disease (n = 85) was 74%; the 5-year local recurrence free survival, distant recurrence free survival, and disease free survival rates were 93%, 78%, and 73%, respectively. Among the 102 patients with myxoid tumors, 33 had distant recurrences; 31 of these were to extrapulmonary soft tissue sites (e.g., the retroperitoneum, chest wall, pleura, pericardium, pelvic sidewall, and soft tissue of the back), and 2 were to the lung only. Among the 18 patients with pleomorphic tumors, 10 had distant recurrences; 3 occurred at extrapulmonary sites, and 7 occurred in the lung only (P < 0.05 for myxoid vs. pleomorphic subtypes). CONCLUSIONS. Myxoid liposarcomas often metastasized to extrapulmonary sites and did so significantly more frequently than pleomorphic tumors. Imaging of the abdomen, retroperitoneum, and extrapleural chest should be performed for accurate staging and posttreatment follow-up of patients with myxoid liposarcoma. Patients presenting with 'primary' myxoid liposarcoma of the trunk should be carefully evaluated for an occult primary tumor in an extremity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Liposarcoma
  • Myxoid liposarcoma
  • Patterns of recurrence
  • Pleomorphic liposarcoma
  • Soft tissue sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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