Patterns of care in a population-based sample of soft tissue sarcoma patients in the United States

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are relatively uncommon tumors. Data regarding the patterns of care of patients with STS and its consistency with available guidelines are relatively sparse. The authors conducted a detailed analysis of STS patients diagnosed in 2002 and sampled from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registries.

METHODS:

The authors sampled 1369 patients with invasive sarcomas. Hospital records were reabstracted, and treating physicians were contacted to verify the therapy provided to each patient.

RESULTS:

The median age of patients was 60 years. There was a slight male predominance among the patients with nongynecologic sarcomas. Fifty percent of the patients had localized stage sarcoma. Most patients received surgery, but negative margins were obtained in only 50% of patients. Complete resection was less frequent in patients ≥50 years old. Radiation therapy was used in 53% of patients with extremity sarcomas but in only 20% to 30% of the patients with sarcomas at other sites. About 27% of all patients received chemotherapy. Tumor grade was significantly associated with the use of radiation and chemotherapy. Surgical resection, tumor grade, tumor size, use of radiation therapy, and age significantly influenced survival.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patterns of care of STS differ based on the site of the tumor. The patterns of care for extremity sarcomas are fairly consistent with the available recommendations, but the patterns of care for other sites are less consistent. In addition to certain tumor characteristics, age of the patient was significantly associated with therapy and patient outcome.

Data regarding the patterns of care of patients with soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are relatively sparse. The authors analyzed 1369 STS patients diagnosed in 2002 and sampled from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registries. The median age of patients was 60 years. Negative margin resection was obtained in only 50% of patients. Complete resection was less frequent in patients ≥50 years old. Radiation therapy was used in 53% of patients with extremity sarcomas but in only 20% to 30% of the patients with STS at other sites. About 27% of all patients received chemotherapy. Surgical resection, tumor grade, tumor size, use of radiation therapy, and age significantly influenced survival. Patterns of care of STS differ based on the site of the tumor. Age of the patient was significantly associated with therapy and patient outcome.

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