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The local management of soft tissue sarcoma

Seminars in Radiation Oncology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s1053-4296(99)80027-7
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine


Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are rare tumors arising from the connective tissues. STS can arise at any anatomic site, can demonstrate varied behavior and prognosis, and therefore present a formidable challenge in management. The local treatment of STS demands technical complexity in the application of diagnostic tools, including pathology and imaging, as well as treatment approaches, including surgical ablation and reconstruction, radiotherapy, and, in defined cases, chemotherapy. The understanding of the management of these lesions is profoundly dependent on the multidisciplinary setting, where experience has been gained and skills are available to increase the likelihood of a successful result. Several proven options are available for optimal local management, and the choice of approach depends on the prevailing practice and resource profile of the treating center. With modern approaches, the local control rate can be expected to be at least 90% for extremity lesions, which constitute the most common STS. The experience in other anatomic sites is less favorable as a result of a combination of late diagnosis, technically difficult access sites, and possibly less famillarity with these less common presentations. The disappointing results make it all the more important for patients to be referred to a multidisciplinary setting with experience in sarcoma management to maximize the chance of successful local outcome.

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