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Local Excision Without Radiation for High-Grade Soft-Tissue Sarcoma of the Extremity and Superficial Trunk

Purpose. Limb-sparing surgery combined with radiation treatment has become the accepted treatment for patients with high-grade soft-tissue sarcoma. Adjuvant radiation was not routinely used at this institution for patients with clear margins after surgery.This retrospective review analyses the outcome of this group of patients.

Patients and methods. Patients studied were referred from 1984 to 1995, were over 16 years of age, were diagnosed with primary high-grade soft-tissue sarcoma of the extremity or superficial trunk, had clear margins after excision and did not receive radiation as a part of their initial treatment. A total of 46 patients were identified.

Results. At 5 years, the local control rate was 87%, disease-specific survival was 75% and overall survival was 68%. Of the 6 local recurrences, 3 were located in the buttock (from a total of 7 patients with primary tumours of the buttock), 3 had a primary size of ≥ 10 cm (from a total of 8 primary tumours of that size) and all were deep tumours.

Discussion. Our data, and those from other reports, suggest that in carefully selected patients appropriate surgery alone results in acceptable local control and survival, and that the morbidity of radiation can be avoided.