Intraoperative Electron Radiotherapy for Extremity Sarcomas Does Not Increase Acute or Late Morbidity

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Abstract

Intraoperative electron radiotherapy is used to treat surgical sites that potentially harbor occult tumor immediately after limb-sparing surgical resection of extremity soft tissue sarcomas. It is unknown whether single-fraction, high-dose intraoperative electron radiotherapy at the time of surgery increases wound morbidity when combined with preoperative or postoperative external beam radiotherapy. In a retrospective study, we evaluated whether intraoperative electron radiotherapy increased 90-day and late (> 90 days) wound complication rates by comparing patients who had adult extremity soft tissue sarcomas treated by limb-sparing surgery and preoperative (n = 14) or postoperative (n = 13) external beam radiotherapy. The median followup was 36 months. Seven (26%) patients had wound complications occurring within 90 days postoperatively and completion of radiotherapy. Late wound complication rates were similar. Two patients in each of the external beam radiotherapy groups required late subtotal limb amputations for prolonged wound complications. Our findings suggest intraoperative electron radiotherapy during limb-sparing surgery allows radiation dose escalation without increased 90-day or late-wound complication rates when combined with preoperative or postoperative external beam radiotherapy for patients with extremity soft tissue sarcomas.

Level of Evidence: Prognostic Study, Level II (retrospective study). See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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