Outcomes after surgical resection of cardiac sarcoma in the multimodality treatment era

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Primary cardiac sarcomas are rare tumors carrying poor prognosis. Resection remains the primary therapy. Especially in recent years, chemotherapy and radiation have been used adjunctively.


All patients (n = 27) surgically treated for primary cardiac sarcoma at two tertiary referral centers from January 1990 to January 2006 were retrospectively reviewed.


There were 13 women and 14 men, with 26 resections and 1 palliative debulking performed. Cardiac explantation was necessary in 8 cases because of tumor location. Concomitant valve surgery (repair or replacement) or coronary artery bypass grafting was performed in 9 and 3 patients, respectively. Synchronous or staged resections of associated pulmonary metastases were performed in 6 and 2 patients, respectively. Operative mortality was 7.4% (2/27). Preoperative or postoperative chemotherapy was administered to 16 and 19 patients, respectively. At follow-up (median 22 months, range, 2–119 months), 12 patients were alive, with 7 tumor free. Among patients who underwent resection with curative intent and survived surgery (n = 24), median survival was 23.5 months (range 4–119 months). Patients who underwent surgical resection, radiofrequency ablation, or radiation treatment for tumor recurrence (local or metastatic, n = 7) had median survival of 47 months (range 16–119 months), whereas patients with no further intervention for recurrent disease (n = 7) had median survival of 25 months (range 8–34 months).


Multimodal therapy can achieve reasonable survival for patients with resected cardiac sarcomas. Patients with local tumor recurrence or metastatic disease may still benefit from aggressive treatment.

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