Localized extremity soft tissue sarcoma: An analysis of factors affecting survival
The management of extremity soft tissue sarcoma is undergoing rapid change as new techniques of adjuvant treatment are developed. Critical assessment of these advances requires a fundamental understanding of the natural course of this disease. In an effort to define important prognostic factors, this review of 423 adults with localized extremity soft tissue sarcomas, treated at one institution (1968 to 1978), was undertaken. The effect of the following variables on survival was examined: patient factors, ie, age, sex, symptoms, and status at presentation; tumor factors, ie, site, size, depth, bone or neurovascular invasion, histogenesis, grade, and nodal status; and treatment factors, ie, biopsy technique, type of operation, surgical margins, adjuvant treatment, and subsequent local treatment failure. Patient factors with an adverse impact on survival included age greater than 53 and the presence of local symptoms. High tumor grade, positive regional nodes, histology other than liposarcoma, fibrosarcoma or malignant fibrohistiocytoma, invasion of vital structures, proximal site, deep location, and size greater than 10 cm were also poor prognosticators. Treatment factors correlating with optimal survival included limb sparing surgery, adequate margins, biopsy with delayed definitive resection, and absence of subsequent local failure. Patients treated by amputation had a greater proportion of risk factors than patients treated with limb-sparing surgery (LSS). When the data were subjected to multivariate analysis, the following variables emerged as independent predictors of poor outcome: local symptoms, age greater than 53, high grade, proximal site, size greater than 10 cm, positive regional nodes, surgery by amputation, and inadequate margins. These factors are now to be evaluated in our prospective study based on 600 patients with soft tissue sarcoma of all sites admitted to our institution in the last 3 years. These factors should be considered as important stratifications in prospective trials.