Surgical resection of leiomyosarcoma of the inferior vena cava: A case series and literature review

Surg Oncol. 2021 Dec:39:101670. doi: 10.1016/j.suronc.2021.101670. Epub 2021 Oct 22.


Objectives: We review our institution's experience in treating leiomyosarcomas involving the inferior vena cava, and we offer guidance on the management.

Methods: A text-based search was performed to identify all patients who underwent surgical resection between January 2002 and October 2020. Clinicopathologic data, intraoperative variables, and outcomes were extracted from chart review.

Results: Twelve of 16 patients (75%) had localized disease; the remaining had limited metastatic disease. Seven of 16 patients (44%) received neoadjuvant chemotherapy or radiation; three patients had partial responses, and four patients had stable disease using RECIST 1.1 criteria. IVC reconstruction was performed in 14 of 16 patients (88%); IVC was ligated for the remaining two patients. Half of all patients had R0 resection on final pathology; the remaining had R1 resections. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were not statistically different between patients with R0 and R1 resection. Median PFS was 1.8 years (95% CI 0.89 - not reached); median OS was 6.5 years (1.8 - not reached). Only one patient (6%) experienced local disease recurrence; 4 of 16 patients (25%) experienced disease recurrence distally without local recurrence.

Conclusions: Resection of IVC leiomyosarcomas at a sarcoma referral center with experience in vascular reconstruction can lead to many years of recurrence-free survival. Surgical resection should be offered to patients with a low volume of metastatic disease to reduce local complications from the primary tumor, many of which exert significant mass effect on surrounding organs. For patients with metastatic disease or large, high-risk tumors, neoadjuvant chemotherapy can provide a biologic test of disease stability prior to resection.

Keywords: Inferior vena cava; Sarcoma; Surgery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • California / epidemiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leiomyosarcoma / drug therapy
  • Leiomyosarcoma / mortality*
  • Leiomyosarcoma / pathology
  • Leiomyosarcoma / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / pathology
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / surgery*