Medline: 9367026

Annals of Surgical Oncology 4(7): 586-590, 1997.

Prospective cohort study of neoadjuvant treatment in conservative surgery of soft tissue sarcomas.

Temple WJ, Temple CL, Arthur K, et al.


1994 marked a decade since the inception of a prospective population-based study on the value of neoadjuvant approach for soft tissue sarcomas of head, neck, and limbs at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary, Alberta. To date, 42 patients have been followed for a minimum of 5 years or until death.

Each patient received a protocol of 60 mg to 90 mg of Adriamycin infused intra-arterially or intravenously over 3 days into a vessel feeding the involved area, 30 Gy of radiotherapy given over 10 days, and complete resection of the sarcoma 4 to 6 weeks later. The lower dose was used empirically for smaller limbs (e.g., arm).

Two of the 42 patients were immediate failures of protocol, with one requiring amputation and one requiring later reexcision. In the 38 appendicular lesions, the ultimate limb salvage rate was 97.5%. All tumors were associated with a high risk of local recurrence with 15 being previous local failures. The rest were deep and grade 2 or 3 lesions. Serious local complications were seen in one patient (2.5%) who had wound necrosis requiring reoperation. Minor wound complications were seen in five patients (12.5%) (one wound infection, one resolved edema, three long-term drainage). There was one local recurrence; thus 5-year local control was 97%. No patient had long-term morbidity related to the treatment. No effect on systemic control was suggested.

Our report demonstrates that this combined modality approach provides superior local control of soft tissue sarcomas with low postoperative morbidity.

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