A system for the surgical staging of musculoskeletal sarcoma. 1980

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2003 Oct:(415):4-18. doi: 10.1097/01.blo.0000093891.12372.0f.


Historically, an adequate surgical procedure has been the most effective means of treating the majority of primary musculoskeletal sarcomas, and amputation has figured prominently in the surgical armamentarium. 4, 7, 9, 19, 21, 29, 41 The recent evidence that certain chemotherapeutic agents may have significant anti-sarcoma activity 2, 15, 17, 38 and coincident technical advances in irradiation therapy, radiographic localization, and reconstructive surgery have fostered enthusiastic interest in extremity-saving treatments. Almost all such treatments emphasize limb salvage as an alternative to amputation and are usually performed under a protective cloak of adjunctive chemotherapy, irradiation or immunoactive agents. 20, 23, 24, 30, 37, 39 Since neither chemotherapy nor irradiation therapy alone has been shown to assure long-term local control of bulk disease, surgical intervention remains an essential step in the overall management of musculoskeletal sarcomas. 3, 9, 17, 18, 29 Questions concerning the magnitude and timing of the surgical procedure are as unanswered as those relating to the most appropriate use of the adjuncts themselves. Increasingly, the surgeon and his patient are confronted with a bewildering array of therapeutic options, the long-term outcomes of which are unknown. These relatively rare sarcomas increasingly are distributed among a variety of treatment protocols in which multiple parameters differ. This trend necessitates interinstitutional cooperation if sufficient numbers of patients are to be available for the timely evaluation of treatments in clinical use. Such cooperation and even effective interinstitutional communication are seriously hampered by the lack of uniform language, so that meaningful comparison of treatments is currently impossible. Prime factors include the lack of a consistent definition of the surgery performed and a serviceable surgical staging system encompassing bone and soft tissue. Standard terminology will assure that like and unlike treatments are appropriately compared. Although an effective staging system should serve all members of the multidisciplinary team, the biologic behavior of musculoskeletal sarcomas suggests that the most useful staging system will articulate with the surgical procedure.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Classical Article
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Amputation, Surgical / history
  • Bone Neoplasms / history*
  • Bone Neoplasms / pathology
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Muscle Neoplasms / history*
  • Muscle Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging / history*
  • Neoplasm Staging / methods
  • Orthopedics / history
  • Sarcoma / history*
  • Sarcoma / pathology
  • Societies, Medical / history
  • United States

Personal name as subject

  • William F Enneking
  • Suzanne S Spanier
  • Mark A Goodman