Adult primary liver sarcoma: systematic review

Rev Col Bras Cir. 2020 Nov 30:47:e20202647. doi: 10.1590/0100-6991e-20202647. eCollection 2020.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Introduction: primary liver sarcoma is a rare type of tumor, more common in children. Among adults, it represents a spectrum of neoplasms with reserved prognosis. There is no consensus on the treatment of choice of these lesions, justifying a systematic review of the literature on treatment options, prognostic factors, and survival.

Material/methods: a systematic review of articles published in Pubmed, Medline, LiLacs e SciElo, from 1966 to March/2019, presenting the keywords: primary-liver-sarcoma and primary-hepatic-sarcoma was undertaken. Studies including patients older than 18 years, and published in English, Portuguese and Spanish were included. Case reports, metastatic tumors and multiple oncologic diagnosis were excluded. The initial search listed 1,318 articles. 1,206 did not meet the inclusion criteria. After reviewing 112 eligible articles, 15 were selected (14 case series and 1 retrospective-cohort).

Results: proposed treatment modalities for primary liver sarcoma included surgery and/or chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy or liver transplantation. The most common histological types were angiosarcoma (32%), leiomyosarcoma (29%), epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (15%) and embryonal sarcoma (7%). Histology, degree of differentiation and R0 resection were mentioned positive prognostic factors. Median survival ranged from two to 23 months. Five-year survival rate varied from 0% to 64%, on average 21%.

Conclusion: surgical resection (R0 resection) is the main treatment for primary liver sarcomas. Development of effective systemic therapies are required to improve prognosis of patients harboring this type of tumor.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery
  • Sarcoma / diagnosis
  • Sarcoma / pathology*
  • Sarcoma / surgery