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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research