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Intraoperative Electron Radiation Therapy Combined with External Beam Radiation Therapy after Gross Total Resection in Extremity Soft Tissue Sarcoma: A European Pooled Analysis

Falk Roeder MD, Antonino de Paoli MD, Ladan Saleh-Ebrahimi MD, Ingo Alldinger MD, Giulio Bertola MD, Giovanni Boz MD, Federico Navarria MD, Miguel Cuervo MD, Matthias Uhl MD, Ana Alvarez MD, Markus Buechler MD, Burkhard Lehner MD, Juergen Debus MD, PhD, Felipe A. Calvo MD, Robert Krempien MD
Volume 25, Issue 13 / December , 2018



We report a pooled analysis evaluating the combination of gross complete limb-sparing surgery, intraoperative electron radiation therapy (IOERT), and external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) in patients with extremity soft tissue sarcoma (STS).


Individual data of 259 patients (median follow-up 63 months) with extremity STS from three European expert centers were pooled. Median age was 55 years and median tumor size was 8 cm. Eighty percent of patients presented with primary disease, mainly located in the lower limb (81%). Union for International Cancer Control 7th edition stage at presentation was as follows: stage I: 9%; stage II: 47%; stage III: 39%; stage IV: 5%. Most patients showed high-grade lesions (91%), predominantly liposarcoma (31%). Median IOERT dose was 12 Gy, preceeded (17%) or followed (83%) by EBRT, with a median dose of 45 Gy.


Surgery resulted in R0 resections in 71% of patients and R1 resections in 29% of patients. The 5-year local control (LC) rate was 86%, and significant factors in univariate analysis were disease status and resection margin. Only margin remained significant in multivariate analysis. The 5-year distant control rate was 69%, and significant factors in univariate analysis were histology, grading, resection margin, and metastases prior to/at IOERT. Only grading and metastases remained significant in multivariate analysis. Actuarial 5-year rates of freedom from treatment failure and OS were 61% and 78%, respectively. Significant factors for OS were grading and metastases prior to/at IOERT (univariate, multivariate). Limb preservation and good functional outcome were achieved in 95% and 81% of patients.


Our pooled analysis confirmed prior reports of encouraging LC and survival, with excellent rates of preserved limb function with this treatment approach. Resection margin remained the most important factor for LC, while grading and metastases prior to/at IOERT mainly predicted survival.

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