Background and objectives: To date, outcome reports for soft-tissue sarcoma (STS) have largely been limited to single or paired institutional series. To more accurately elucidate population-based outcomes and prognostic factors associated with STS, a large cancer registry was examined.
Methods: STS arising in the Florida Cancer Data System were examined (1981-2004).
Results: A total of 8249 patients were identified, the calculated annual incidence of sarcoma being approximately 38 cases per million in 2003. The tumor histologies among these patients were leiomyosarcoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (LMS/GIST) (43.5%), malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) (31.5%), liposarcoma (19.0%), and fibrosarcoma (6.0%). Tumors were situated in the extremities (30.7%), truncal or visceral locations (50.4%), retroperitoneum (11.7%), and head or neck (7.2%). Thirty-three percent of lesions were over 10 cm in greatest dimension, while 50.2% were classified as high grade. Median overall survival was 25 months. Superior survival was observed for liposarcomas and fibrosarcomas as compared to MFH and LMS/GIST (P < 0.001). Retroperitoneal and truncal sarcomas had a more ominous prognosis than did other sites (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis of pretreatment variables demonstrated that increasing age, male gender, non-Caucasian race, advanced stage, and a truncal or retroperitoneal location were each independently associated with lower survival. Histological subtype was also an independent predictor of outcome. Surgical resection and radiation therapy were the only treatment variables shown to improve survival.
Conclusions: Histological subtype, tumor site, and stage are independent prognostic factors in STS. Surgical resection and radiotherapy are unique among treatment modalities in association with a significant survival benefit.