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The influence of anatomic location on outcome in patients with soft tissue sarcoma of the extremity

Lookup NU author(s): Craig Gerrand


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BACKGROUND: The anatomic location of an extremity soft tissue sarcoma may influence the patient's presentation, management, and local and systemic recurrence rates. The objective of this study was to compare the presentation, management, and outcome of patients with soft tissue sarcomas of the upper extremity and the lower extremity. METHODS: Prospectively collected data from patients who underwent limb-sparing surgery for extremity soft tissue sarcoma between January, 1986 and April, 1997 were analyzed. Local recurrence free rates and metastasis free rates were calculated using the method of Kaplan and Meier. Univariate and multivariate analyses of potential predictive factors were evaluated with the log-rank test and the Cox proportional hazards model. RESULTS: Of 480 eligible patients, 48 patients (10.0%) had a local recurrence, and 131 patients (27.3%) developed distant metastasis. The median follow-up of survivors was 4.8 years (range, 0.1-12.9 years). Patients with upper extremity tumors had smaller lesions (6.0 cm vs. 9.3 cm; P < 0.001), more often underwent unplanned excision before referral (89 patients [64.0%] vs. 160 patients [46.9%]; P < 0.001), and less often received radiotherapy (98 patients [70.5%] vs. 289 patients [84.8%]; P < 0.001). The 5-year local recurrence free rate was 82% for patients with sarcomas of the upper extremity and 93% for patients with sarcomas of the lower extremity (P = 0.002). The 5-year metastasis free rate was 82% for patients with sarcomas of the upper extremity and 69% for patients with sarcomas of the lower extremity (P = 0.013). CONCLUSIONS: Local recurrence was more frequent in patients who had sarcomas of the upper extremity compared with patients who had sarcomas of the lower extremity. Factors that contributed to this difference included histologic type, the use of radiotherapy, and local anatomy. Metastasis was more frequent among patients with sarcomas of the lower extremity, because those tumors tended to be large and deeper compared with upper extremity tumors.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gerrand CH, Bell RS, Wunder JS, Kandel RA, O'Sullivan B, Catton CN, Griffin AM, Davis AM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cancer

Year: 2003

Volume: 97

Issue: 2

Pages: 485-492

Print publication date: 01/01/2015

ISSN (print): 0008-543X

ISSN (electronic): 1045-7410


DOI: 10.1002/cncr.11076


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