During the past 20 years, dramatic improvements have been obtained in the treatment of localised osteosarcoma of the extremities, both in the rates of disease-free survival and in quality of life.
Twenty years ago 80 to 90% of the patients died, in spite of mutilating surgery, but now about 75% survive and avoid the necessity of amputation. This is due to the introduction of very effective combined treatments, mostly also using preoperative chemotherapy.
One of the major issues is that of intensive preoperative chemotherapy, which improves both limb salvage and survival. A multidisciplinary approach is necessary to obtain good results.
When the role of adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy is not accurately defined for soft tissue sarcomas, particular emphasis is given to the staging of the diseases and to the important role of local treatment in the survival of these patients. A combination of radiation therapy and surgery is strongly recommended.