Treatment of the patient with stage M0 soft tissue sarcoma

H. D. Suit, H. J. Mankin, W. C. Wood, M. C. Gebhardt, D. C. Harmon, A. Rosenberg, J. E. Tepper, D. Rosenthal

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213 Scopus citations


During the period 1971 to 1985, 220 patients with soft tissue sarcoma of the extremities, torso, and head-neck region were managed by radiation and resectional surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Actuarial 5-year local control and disease-free survival rates were 86% and 70%, respectively. The success rate improved during this time period. Namely, the local control rates for 1971 to 1975, 1976 to 1980, and 1981 to 1985 were 81%, 81%, and 94%, respectively. For the same time periods, the 5-year disease-free survival rates were 64%, 70%, and 76%. One hundred thirty-one patients were treated with postoperative radiation, and 89 with preoperative radiation. In the most recent 5-year period, the local control rates were 91% and 97% for the two groups (number of patients being 50 and 57 in the post- and preoperative groups, respectively). Treatment by preoperative radiation appears to have a major advantage for patients with very large sarcomas, ie, > 15 cm in maximum dimension. None of our patients with local control of grade 1 sarcoma have developed distant metastatis (DM). In contrast, among patients with grade 2 or 3 sarcomas, there is a relentless and progressive increase in the frequency of DM with size of the primary lesion, namely, 6% at ≤ 2.5 cm, ≃ 60% at 15 to 20 cm, and ≃ 80% at > 20 cm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)854-862
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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