Background: Although well described for gastrointestinal and pelvic cancers, use of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for the management of retroperitoneal soft tissue sarcoma (RPS) remains unknown. The current study aimed to describe patterns of MIS use and assess the association between MIS and clinical outcomes among patients undergoing surgery for RPS.
Methods: Patients undergoing a primary resection for RPS between 2010 and 2014 were identified using the National Cancer Database. Multivariable logistic and Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the association between use of MIS and clinical outcomes. Sensitivity analysis was performed using propensity score-matching (PSM).
Results: This study identified 3844 patients who met the inclusion criteria. Of these patients, 89.3% (n = 3432) underwent an open surgery, whereas 10.7% (n = 412) underwent MIS. The patients undergoing MIS were more likely to present with smaller tumors (open vs MIS: median tumor size, 17 cm; interquartile range [IQR, 9.8-26.0] vs 10.5 cm [IQR, 6.5-18.0]) and to undergo surgery at community hospitals (26.8% vs 36.1%; both P < 0.001). Although MIS was associated with a shorter hospital length of stay [LOS] (median LOS, 6 days [IQR, 5-9 days] vs 4 days [IQR, 2-7]; P < 0.001), postoperative mortality and overall survival were comparable between the two treatment groups (all P > 0.05). These findings were confirmed using PSM.
Conclusions: MIS was associated with a shorter LOS, however, postoperative mortality and overall survival were comparable by operative approach. Future research is required to evaluate the use of MIS for the management of RPS. Policies are required to ensure that patients receive care in accordance with best practices and recommended guidelines.