Contemporary management of metastatic soft tissue sarcoma

Curr Probl Cancer. 2019 Aug;43(4):289-299. doi: 10.1016/j.currproblcancer.2019.06.005. Epub 2019 Jun 15.


Soft tissue sarcoma (STS) is a rare, heterogeneous cancer that can have high rates of distant metastases. Optimal treatment planning requires detailed knowledge of distinct sarcoma histologies as well as the wide array of therapeutic options through surgical, medical, radiation, and interventional oncology. In this review article, we discuss the contemporary management of metastatic STS and the underlying data behind these recommendations. All patients with metastatic STS should be discussed in a multidisciplinary tumor board at an experienced sarcoma center. For patients with oligometastatic disease, there should be strong consideration for definitive local therapy such as surgical resection, stereotactic body radiation therapy, or ablative procedures. In cases with widespread metastases, cytotoxic chemotherapy represents the standard treatment for STS patients with traditional chemotherapies, such as anthracyclines, gemcitabine/docetaxel, ifosfamide, and dacarbazine, still being the most commonly used drugs today. The recent approvals of trabectedin, eribulin, and pazopanib have expanded the therapeutic armamentarium for metastatic STS. Histology-directed treatment is crucial for certain subtypes of STS which are highly sensitive to targeted therapy and relatively insensitive to chemotherapy. Despite the significant progress that has been made in metastatic STS in the past decade, overall prognosis is poor and there is a critical need for novel therapeutics.

Keywords: Metastatic therapy; Soft tissue sarcoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Disease Management
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Prognosis
  • Sarcoma / pathology
  • Sarcoma / therapy*