Head and neck soft tissue sarcomas: prognostic factors and outcome in a series of patients treated at a single institution

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Head and neck soft tissue sarcomas (STS) represent a rare disease.

Patients and methods

One hundred and sixty-seven patients underwent surgery at our institution with an eradicating intent between 1990 and 2010. Local recurrence (LR), distant metastasis (DM) and disease-specific mortality (DSM) incidence were studied along with clinicopathological prognostic factors.


Ten-year crude cumulative incidence (CCI) of LR, DM and DSM were 19%, 11% and 26%, respectively (median follow-up 66 months). Independent prognostic factors for DSM were tumor size (P < 0.001) and grade (P = 0.032), while surgical margins obtained a border-line significance (0.070); LR was affected by the tumor size (P = 0.001), while DM only by grade (P = 0.047). The median survival after LR and DM were 14 months and 7 months, respectively. Tumors sited in the paranasal sinus and supraclavicular region had the worst survival.


Head and neck represent a very critical anatomical site for STS. Achievement of local disease control appears to be crucial, since even LR could be a life-threatening event.

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