Clinicopathologic features and treatment of postirradiation sarcoma of bone and soft tissue

J Surg Oncol. 2000 Sep;75(1):42-50. doi: 10.1002/1096-9098(200009)75:1<42::aid-jso8>;2-g.


Background and objectives: An analysis of the clinicopathologic features and treatment of patients with postirradiation sarcoma of bone and soft tissue was performed to guide modern evaluation and management.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of 135 sarcomas in 130 patients was performed.

Results: The mean age of the 130 patients was 48 years, and there was a female predominance because of irradiation for carcinomas of the breast and uterus. Indication for irradiation was a soft tissue lesion (such as lymphoma or breast cancer) in 58.5% of patients and a bone lesion (such as giant cell tumor or fibrous dysplasia) in 41.5%. The latent period (interval between irradiation and discovery of the sarcoma) ranged from 4-55 years (mean, 17 years). Of the lesions, 74% were stage IIB (high-grade extra-compartmental) and 24% were stage III (metastases). Ninety-four patients received their treatment at our institution. Of the 61 patients with resectable disease, 49 had amputations and 12 had limb salvage procedures. The 5-year cumulative survival rate was 68.2% for patients with peripheral (extremities, including proximal femur and hip) resectable lesions and 27.3% for patients with central (pelvis, head/neck, and ribs) resectable lesions. The local recurrence rate correlated with the surgical margin achieved: intralesional, 73%, marginal, 64%, and wide, 23%.

Conclusions: The prognosis for patients with peripheral resectable postirradiation sarcomas is good if a wide surgical margin can be achieved. This group of patients should be treated aggressively because they have a new cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amputation
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology
  • Bone Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / surgery*
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sarcoma / pathology
  • Sarcoma / surgery*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / surgery*