Variation in Management of Extremity Soft-Tissue Sarcoma in Younger vs Older Adults

Crystal Seldon, Gautam Shrivastava, Abdurrahman Al-Awady, David Asher, Stephen Ramey, Melanie Fernandez, Sarah Dooley, Deukwoo Kwon, Wei Zhao, Neha Goel, Tejan Diwanji, Ty Subhawong, Jonathan Trent, Raphael Yechieli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Importance: A large proportion of extremity soft-tissue sarcomas (ESS) occur among young adults, yet this group is underrepresented in clinical trials, resulting in limited data on this population. Younger patients present many complex challenges that affect clinical management. Objective: To investigate variations in treatment management in young adults vs older adults with ESS. Design, Setting, and Participants: This multicenter retrospective cohort study used the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) to identify patients 18 years and older with ESS who received definitive treatment (ie, limb-sparing surgery [LSS] or amputation) between 2004 and 2014. Data analysis was conducted in November 2019. Exposures: Treatment regimen received among young adults (aged 18-39 years) and older adults (≥40 years) after diagnosis with ESS. Main Outcomes and Measures: To detect unique factors associated with treatment decisions in young adults with ESS, multivariable analyses used logistic regressions for patterns of treatment and their association with demographic factors and tumor characteristics. Results: Overall, 8953 patients were identified, and among these, 1280 (14.3%) were young adults. From the full cohort, 4796 patients (53.6%) identified as male and 6615 (73.9%) identified as non-Hispanic White. More young adults than older adults underwent amputation (age 18-39 years, 104 of 1280 [8.1%]; age 40-64 years, 217 of 3937 [5.5%]; aged ≥65 years, 199 of 3736 [5.3%]), but the association was not statistically significant (age ≥65 years, odds ratio [OR], 1.49; 95% CI, 1.00-2.23; P =.05). Young adults were more likely to receive chemotherapy than older patients (age 40-65 years, OR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.45-0.60; P =.001; ≥65 years, OR, 0.16; 95% CI, 0.12-0.20; P =.001). Conversely, young adults were less likely to receive radiation therapy compared with older patients (age 40-65 years, OR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.22-1.61; P =.001; ≥65 years, OR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.10-1.61; P =.003). Unique to younger adults, clinical stage II disease vs stage I and positive surgical margins were not associated with use of radiation therapy (stage II disease: OR, 1.25; 95% CI, 0.81-1.91; P =.31; positive surgical margins: OR, 1.43; 95% CI, 0.93-2.22; P =.11). White Hispanic young adults were less likely than non-Hispanic White young adults to receive radiation therapy (OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.36-0.78; P =.002). Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, young adults with ESS were more likely to receive chemotherapy and less likely to receive radiation therapy than older adults. Further study is warranted to identify the clinical outcomes of these practice disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20951
JournalJAMA Network Open
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 20 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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