Primary Cardiac Sarcoma: A Rare, Aggressive Malignancy with a High Propensity for Brain Metastases

Sarcoma. 2019 Mar 10;2019:1960593. doi: 10.1155/2019/1960593. eCollection 2019.


Introduction: Primary cardiac sarcoma (PCS) has a poor prognosis compared to other sarcomas due to late presentation, challenging resection, incidence of metastases, and limited efficacy of systemic therapies.

Methods: A medical record search engine was queried to identify patients diagnosed with PCS from 1992 to 2017 at the University of Michigan.

Results: Thirty-nine patients with PCS had a median age of 41 years (range 2-77). Common histologies were angiosarcoma (AS, 14), high-grade undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS, 10), and leiomyosarcoma (LMS, 5). Sites of origin were left atrium (18), right atrium (16), and pericardium (5). AS was the most common right-sided tumor; UPS was more common on the left. Eighteen patients presented with metastases involving lung (10), bone (7), liver (5), and brain (4). Twenty-five patients underwent resection, achieving 3 R0 resections. Patients received a median of 2 (1-6) systemic therapies. Median overall survival (OS) was 12.1 months (range 0-79). Median OS was 14.0 months and 8.2 months in patients who did or did not undergo resection, respectively (p=0.018). Brain metastases occurred in 12 (31%) patients, 9 (75%) of whom had left heart tumors, at a median of 8.5 months (range 0-75) from diagnosis. Median OS was 5.6 months (range 0-30) after the diagnosis of brain metastases.

Conclusions: PCS portends a poor prognosis, because of difficulty in obtaining complete resection of sarcoma, advanced stage at diagnosis, and high risk of brain metastases. Providers should be aware of the increased risk of brain metastases and consider brain imaging at diagnosis and follow-up.