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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES - Administration of preoperative radiotherapy for extremity soft tissue sarcoma improves local control, while allowing for a more conservative surgical resection. During radiation treatment tumor size typically decreases or remains constant. In a subset of patients, however, a size increase in the tumor occurs. Our goal was to investigate the prognosis of patients who had a size increase of at least 20% over the course of preoperative radiotherapy versus those who did not.
METHODS - This retrospective study evaluated 70 patients treated for localized primary STS of the extremities between January 2000 and December 2008. Kaplan-Meier curves for disease-specific and metastasis-free survival were calculated for both groups.
RESULTS - Sixty-one patients had stable or decrease local tumor size following preoperative radiotherapy and nine patients had an increase of at least 20% in tumor size. There were no statistically significant differences found in disease-specific survival and metastasis-free survival (Gray's test, P = 0.93 and P = 0.68, respectively) among the two groups.
CONCLUSION - Our results indicate that a 20% increase in tumor size following preoperative radiotherapy did not result in a worse outcome for patients when compared to those who had stable or decrease local tumor size following preoperative radiotherapy.
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