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01.11.2010 | Symposium: Highlights of the ISOLS/MSTS 2009 Meeting | Ausgabe 11/2010

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research® 11/2010

Do Surgical Margin and Local Recurrence Influence Survival in Soft Tissue Sarcomas?

Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research® > Ausgabe 11/2010
MD Eduardo N. Novais, MD Bahtiyar Demiralp, MD Joseph Alderete, BS Melissa C. Larson, MD Peter S. Rose, MD Franklin H. Sim
Wichtige Hinweise
Each author certifies that he or she has no commercial associations (eg, consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article.
Each author certifies that his or her institution approved the human protocol for this investigation, that all investigations were conducted in conformity with ethical principles of research, and that informed consent for participation in the study was obtained.



Established prognostic factors influencing survival in soft tissue sarcomas include tumor stage, histopathologic grade, size, depth, and anatomic site. The presence of tumor near or at the margin of resection increases the risk of local recurrence but whether a positive surgical margin or local recurrence affect overall survival is controversial.


We explored the impact of microscopic margin on local recurrence, metastasis, and overall survival in patients with intermediate- to high-grade soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities. We then determined whether local recurrence decreases overall survival.


We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 248 patients who had soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities treated surgically from 1995 to 2008. We estimated survival, local recurrence, and distant metastasis and examined factors potentially influencing these outcomes. The minimum followup was 0.4 years (median, 4.4 years; range, 0.4–13 years).


The 5-year cumulative incidence of local recurrence was 4.1%. Patients who presented with positive margins or a margin of 2 mm or less had a worse survival than patients who had margins of greater than 2 mm and wide margins (5-year survival, 47% versus 70% and 72%). In addition to surgical margin, developing metastasis, tumor response of less than 90% necrosis, high histopathologic grade, high AJCC stage (Stage III), increasing age, and male gender were associated with decreased overall survival. Local recurrence independently predicted decreased overall survival.


Microscopic surgical margin and local recurrence after surgical treatment should be included as risk factors predicting decreased overall survival for intermediate- to high-grade soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities.

Level of Evidence

Level II, prognostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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