Recent Results Cancer Res. 2009;179:271-83.

Management of locally recurrent soft tissue sarcoma after prior surgery and radiation therapy.

Hohenberger P, Schwarzbach MH.

Divison of Surgical Oncology and Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University Hospital Mannheim, Theodor Kutzer Ufer 1-3, 68167 Mannheim, Germany.


Surgery and radiation therapy are the standard for local tumour control in the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma. Sarcoma recurrence within a previously irradiated area is one of the most problematic therapeutic challenges in soft tissue tumours. Any information on previous therapy needs to be available in detail. In case of recurrent sarcoma not amenable to surgical resection with wide and clear margins, a multimodality therapy needs to be applied. The armamentarium usually looks for a neoadjuvant downstaging of the sarcoma by radiotherapy, chemo-radiotherapy or isolated limb perfusion with all of those strategies bearing benefits, but also specific risks. The potential of repeated radiotherapy and the modality that can be used (intraoperative radiotherapy, brachytherapy) needs to be carefully evaluated. The pathologist saves these major problems in intraoperative frozen section histology or resection margins and thus needs to be aware of the type of cancer cells potentially present within the resection specimen. Plastic and reconstructive surgery to cover the area of re-resection with viable and well-v tissue is absolutely crucial to prevent lymphatic fistula. Thus, adequate treatment of those specific situations usually involves postoperative physiotherapy and a specific rehabilitation, which is extremely important.

PMID: 19230546 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2009 Sep;35(9):986-93. Epub 2009 Jan 12.

Primary and locally recurrent retroperitoneal soft-tissue sarcoma: local control and survival.

Lehnert T, Cardona S, Hinz U, Willeke F, Mechtersheimer G, Treiber M, Herfarth C, Buechler MW, Schwarzbach MH.

Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.


AIM: To evaluate local control for long-term prognosis in retroperitoneal soft-tissue sarcoma (primary tumors (PT) and local recurrence (LR)). METHODS: A total of 110 patients underwent surgery between 1988 and 2002. Prospectively gathered clinicopathological data were analyzed. Kaplan-Meier estimations and Cox regression analyses were performed. RESULTS: Resectability was 90%, being comparable for PT (n=71) and LR (n=39). Morbidity, mortality, blood loss, and operation time did not differ for PT or LR (24% vs. 31%, p=0.41; 7.0% vs. 5.1%, p=1.0; 1000 ml vs. 1500 ml, p=0.17; 240 min vs. 255 min, p=0.13). Hospitalization was comparable in both groups (median, 12 days (PT) and 13 days (LR)). Follow-up was 89 months (median, IQR 37-112 months). Local 3- and 5-year control rates after complete resection of PT were 66% and 59% (19% and 9% for LR, p<0.001). The mean number of operations were 1.4 for PT and 2.4 for LR (p=0.0047). The 5-year survival rates after complete resection were 51% for PT and 43% for LR (p=0.39). The 5-year survival rates were 65%, 4%, and 0% for complete resection, incomplete resection, and exploration, respectively (p<0.001). Multivariate analysis showed high-grade and blood loss with a poor prognosis. CONCLUSIONS: Comparable resectability rates and perioperative outcome were observed for surgery of PT and LR. Consequent reoperation leads to respectable long-term survival rates after resection of LR. The prognosis in retroperitoneal sarcomas varies significantly according to resectability, grade and blood loss.

PMID: 19138832 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]