Preoperative accelerated radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy in a defined cohort of patients with high risk soft tissue sarcoma: a Scandinavian Sarcoma Group study

Clin Sarcoma Res. 2020 Nov 17;10(1):22. doi: 10.1186/s13569-020-00145-5.


Background: We recently reported outcomes from a Scandinavian Sarcoma Group adjuvant study (SSG XX group A) conducted on localized and operable high risk soft tissue sarcoma (STS) of the extremities and trunk wall. SSG XX, group B, comprised of patients in a defined cohort with locally advanced STS considered at high risk for intralesional surgery. These patients received preoperative accelerated radiotherapy, together with neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy. Herein we report the results of this group B.

Methods: Twenty patients with high-grade, locally advanced and deep STS located in lower extremities (n = 12), upper extremities (5) or trunk wall (3) were included. The median age was 59 years and 14 patients were males. The treatment regimen consisted of 6 cycles of doxorubicin (60 mg/m2) and ifosfamide (6 g/m2), with three cycles given neoadjuvantly, and preoperative radiotherapy (1, 8 Gyx2/daily to 36 Gy) between cycles 2 and 3. After a repeated MRI surgery was then conducted, and the remaining 3 chemotherapy cycles were given postoperatively at 3 weeks intervals. Survival data, local control, toxicity of chemotherapy and postoperative complications are presented.

Results: Median follow-up time for metastasis-free survival (MFS) was 2.8 years (range 0.3-10.4). The 5-year MFS was 49.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] 31.7-77.4). The median follow-up time was 5.4 years (range 0.3-10.4) for overall survival (OS). The 5-year OS was 64.0% (95% CI 45.8-89.4). The median tumour size was 13 cm, with undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (n = 10) and synovial sarcoma (n = 6) diagnosed most frequently. All patients completed surgery. Resection margins were R0 in 19 patients and R1 in 1 patient. No patients had evidence of disease progression preoperatively. Three patients experienced a local recurrence, in 2 after lung metastases had already been diagnosed. Eleven patients (55%) had postoperative wound problems (temporary in 8 and persistent in 3).

Conclusions: Preoperative chemotherapy and radiotherapy were associated with temporary wound-healing problems. Survival outcomes, local control and toxicities were deemed satisfactory when considering the locally advanced sarcoma disease status at primary diagnosis. Trial registration This study was registered at Identifier NCT00790244 and with European Union Drug Regulating Authorities Clinical Trials No. EUDRACT 2007-001152-39.

Keywords: Accelerated; Adjuvant; Chemotherapy; Preoperative; Radiotherapy; Soft tissue sarcoma; Survival; Toxicity.

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