Anatomic tumor location influences the success of contemporary limb-sparing surgery and radiation among adults with soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities.
PURPOSE: To examine the influence of anatomic location in the upper extremity (UE) vs. lower extremity (LE) on the presentation and outcomes of adult soft tissue sarcomas (STS). METHODS AND MATERIALS: From 2001 to 2008, 118 patients underwent limb-sparing surgery (LSS) and external beam radiotherapy (RT) with curative intent for nonrecurrent extremity STS. RT was delivered preoperatively in 96 and postoperatively in 22 patients. Lesions arose in the UE in 28 and in the LE in 90 patients. Patients with UE lesions had smaller tumors (4.5 vs. 9.0 cm, p < 0.01), were more likely to undergo a prior excision (43 vs. 22%, p = 0.03), to have close or positive margins after resection (71 vs. 49%, p = 0.04), and to undergo postoperative RT (32 vs. 14%, p = 0.04). RESULTS: Five-year actuarial local recurrence-free and distant metastasis-free survival rates for the entire group were 85 and 74%, with no difference observed between the UE and LE cohorts. Five-year actuarial probability of wound reoperation rates were 4 vs. 29% (p < 0.01) in the UE and LE respectively. Thigh lesions accounted for 84% of the required wound reoperations. The distribution of tumors within the anterior, medial, and posterior thigh compartments was 51%, 26%, and 23%. Subset analysis by compartment showed no difference in the probability of wound reoperation between the anterior and medial/posterior compartments (29 vs. 30%, p = 0.68). Neurolysis was performed during resection in (15%, 5%, and 67%, p < 0.01) of tumors in the anterior, medial, and posterior compartments. CONCLUSIONS: Tumors in the UE and LE differ significantly with respect to size and management details. The anatomy of the UE poses technical impediments to an R0 resection. Thigh tumors are associated with higher wound reoperation rates. Tumor resection in the posterior thigh compartment is more likely to result in nerve injury. A better understanding of the inherent differences between tumors in various extremity sites will assist in individualizing treatment.
Korah, MP; Deyrup, AT; Monson, DK; Oskouei, SV; Weiss, SW; Landry, J; Godette, KD
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