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Assessing the Role of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Primary High-Risk Truncal/Extremity Soft Tissue Sarcomas: An Analysis of the Multi-institutional U.S. Sarcoma Collaborative

Mohammad Y. Zaidi MD, MS, Cecilia G. Ethun MD, MS, Thuy B. Tran MD, George Poultsides MD, Valerie P. Grignol MD, J. Harrison Howard MD, Meena Bedi MD, Harveshp Mogal MD, Jennifer Tseng MD, Kevin K. Roggin MD, Konstantinos Chouliaras MD, Konstantinos Votanopoulos MD, Brad Krasnick MD, Ryan C. Fields MD, Shervin Oskouei MD, Nickolas Reimer MD, David Monson MD, Shishir K. Maithel MD, Kenneth Cardona
Volume 26, Issue 11 / October , 2019



The role of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NCT) for high-risk soft tissue sarcoma (STS) is questioned. This study aimed to define which patients may experience a survival advantage with NCT.


All the patients from the U.S. Sarcoma Collaborative database (2000–2016) who underwent curative-intent resection of high-grade, primary truncal/extremity STS size 5 cm or larger were included in this study. The primary end points were recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS).


Of the 4153 patients, 770 were included in the study. The median tumor size was 10 cm, and 669 of the patients (87%) had extremity tumors. The most common histology was undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS), found in 42% of the patients. Of the 770 patients, 216 (28%) received NCT. The patients who received NCT had deeper, larger tumors (p < 0.001). Of the patients with tumors 5 cm or larger and 8 cm or larger, NCT was not associated with improved RFS or OS. However for the patients with tumors 10 cm or larger, NCT was associated with improved 5-year RFS (51% vs 40%; p = 0.053) and 5-year OS (58% vs 47%; p = 0.043). By location, the patients with extremity tumors 10 cm or larger but not truncal tumors had improved 5-yearr RFS (54% vs 42%; p = 0.042) and 5-year OS (61% vs 47%; p = 0.015) with NCT. According to histology, no subtype had improved RFS or OS with NCT, although the patients with UPS had a trend toward improved 5-year RFS (56% vs 42%; p = 0.092) and 5-year OS (66% vs 52%; p = 0.103) with NCT.


For the patients with high-grade STS, NCT was associated with improved RFS and OS when tumors were 10 cm or larger and located in the extremity. However, no histiotype-specific advantage was identified. Future studies assessing the efficacy of NCT may consider focusing on these patients, with added focus on histology-specific strategies.

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