PRIMARY SARCOMAS OF THE MEDIASTINUM: RESULTS OF THERAPY

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Abstract

Objective:

To assess presentation, management, prognostic factors, and survival in mediastinal sarcomas.

Methods:

We reviewed our experience with 47 patients with the diagnosis of primary sarcoma of the mediastinum. Data were collected from a computerized institutional database and medical records. Survival was analyzed by Kaplan-Meier method and comparisons of survival by log rank test.

Results:

The median age of 47 patients with mediastinal sarcoma was 39 years (range 2.5 to 69 years), with a male/female ratio of 1.6. The most common complaints were chest/shoulder pain (38%) and dyspnea (23%). The most common tumor types were malignant peripheral nerve tumor (26%), spindle cell sarcoma (15%), leiomyosarcoma (9%), and liposarcoma (9%). Operation was the primary treatment modality in 72% of cases (n = 34); 22 sarcomas (47%) were completely resected. The overall 5-year survival was 32%. High-grade lesions had a significantly decreased survival (5-year survival = 27%) compared with low-grade tumors (5-year survival = 66%) (p = 0.05). The overwhelming factor determining survival was the ability to completely resect the tumors (5-year survival 49% for complete resection; 3-year survival 18% for incomplete or no resection) (p = 0.0016). Despite complete resection, local recurrence occurred in 64% of cases.

Conclusion:

Because the overall survival for patients with mediastinal sarcomas is 32% and the local recurrence is 64% for tumors completely resected, aggressive adjuvant therapy should continue to be systematically explored. (J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1998;115:671-80)

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