Primary cardiac sarcomas: Treatment strategies

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2023 Sep;166(3):828-838.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2021.10.070. Epub 2022 Feb 1.


Objective: Our multidisciplinary cardiac tumor team now has an experience of operating on 122 cases of primary cardiac sarcoma over a 23-year period. The purpose of this study is to present our short- and long-term outcomes for cardiac sarcoma.

Methods: We performed a retrospective review of a prospectively collected Institutional Review Board-approved cardiac tumor database for cardiac sarcoma. Patient characteristics, surgical factors, and patient outcomes were analyzed. Perioperative data were collected from direct patient communication and all available medical records. The primary end point was all-cause mortality at 1, 3, and 5 years from the time of our surgery and 1, 3, and 5 years from the initial diagnosis. The secondary end point was all-cause mortality between the first and second halves of the study.

Results: From October 1998 to April 2021, we operated on 122 patients with a primary cardiac sarcoma. The mean age was 45.3 years old, and 52.5% were male. Tumors were most frequently found in the left atrium (40.2%) and right atrium (32.0%). The most common type of tumor histologically was an angiosarcoma (38.5%), followed by high-grade sarcoma (14.8%). Survival from initial diagnosis at 1, 3, and 5 years was 88.4%, 43.15%, and 27.8%, respectively. Survival from surgery at our institution at 1 and 3 years was 57.1% and 24.5%, respectively. When comparing outcomes from different time periods, we found no significant difference in survival between the previous era (1998-2011) and the current era (2011-2021).

Conclusions: Management of these complex patients can show reasonable outcomes in centers with a multidisciplinary cardiac tumor team. Mortality has not improved with time and is likely related to the systemic nature of this disease.

Keywords: autotransplant; sarcoma; tumor.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Heart Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Hemangiosarcoma*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sarcoma* / surgery
  • Time Factors