Soft Tissue Sarcomas of the Head and Neck Region with Skull Base/Intracranial Invasion: Review of Surgical Outcomes and Multimodal Treatment Strategies: A Retrospective Case Series

Curr Oncol. 2022 Sep 14;29(9):6540-6550. doi: 10.3390/curroncol29090514.


Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) invading the skull base are rare with little data to guide surgical management. Here we aimed to determine the factors affecting tumor control rates and survival in patients with T4 stage head and neck STS involving the skull base. A retrospective review of STS patients, surgically treated at our institution between 1994 and 2017 was conducted. Variables were collected and assessed against progression-free survival. Tumors were graded using the Fédération Nationale des Centres de Lutte Contre le Cancer (FNCLCC) system. A total of 51 patients (mean age of 35) were included, of whom 17 (33.3%) patients were FNCLCC grade 1, 8 (15. 7%) were FNCLCC grade 2 and 26 (51%) were FNCLCC grade 3. The median PFS was 236.4 months while the 5- and 10-year PFS rates were 44% and 17%, respectively. Recurrence occurred in 17 (33.3%) patients. Local recurrence occurred in 10 (58.8%). Univariate analysis revealed R0 resection had a near-significant impact on tumor control in radiation-naïve patients. Otherwise, prior radiation (HR 6.221, CI 1.236-31.314) and cavernous sinus involvement (HR 14.464, CI 3.326-62.901) were negative predictors of PFS. The most common cause of treatment failure was local recurrence. In T4 stage head and neck STS with skull-base involvement, FNCLCC grade, radiation status, and anatomic spread should be considered in determining the overall treatment strategy.

Keywords: case series; head and neck; multimodal; sarcomas; skull base.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sarcoma* / pathology
  • Skull Base / pathology
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms*
  • Treatment Outcome

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.