Local recurrence of deep-seated, high-grade, soft tissue sarcoma: 459 patients from the Scandinavian Sarcoma Group Register
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This study was based on 459 adult patients with deep, high-grade, soft tissue sarcoma of extremities or trunk wall reported to the Scandinavian Sarcoma Group Register (1986-1993). All patients had their definitive surgery for primary tumor at a sarcoma center. The median follow-up was 7.5 (3-12) years. 204 patients are still alive. 68 patients had amputations and 391 underwent limb-sparing surgery. Among 183 patients with intralesional or marginal margins after limb-sparing surgery, 65% had postoperative radiotherapy and 9% of the 198 patients with wide margins. The local recurrence rate after limb-sparing surgery was 26%. The rate with an intralesional or marginal margin was 39% without postoperative radiotherapy versus 24% when radiotherapy was given. It was 25% after a wide margin, and no recurrences were noted among the 10 patients with a compartmental surgical margin. Among patients with a wide margin, a subset fulfilling criteria for a myectomy was defined. The local recurrence rate was 26% among these 62 and there was no advantage of myectomy over other wide margins. More radical surgical margins would improve the local recurrence rate, but this can hardly be achieved in center-operated patients without increasing the amputation rate. Instead, increased use of radiotherapy in all patients with inadequate margins, and to a larger extent in those with wide margins will improve local control.