Soft-tissue Sarcoma

J Am Acad Orthop Surg, Vol 17, No 1, January 2009 Nathan F. Gilbert, MD, Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Patrick P. Lin, MD and Valerae O. Lewis, MD

Soft-tissue sarcomas are rare malignancies of mesodermal origin. Common sites of involvement include the extremities, trunk, retroperitoneum, and the head and neck. Soft-tissue sarcomas of the extremities and pelvis are the most relevant to the orthopaedic surgeon. The patient with extremity soft-tissue sarcoma typically presents with a painless, enlarging mass. Advanced imaging techniques and biopsy, which are best done at tertiary referral centers, usually confirm the diagnosis. Factors such as sarcoma size, location, grade, histologic subtype, and stage, as well as patient age and comorbidities, determine the specific approach to management and patient outcome. Limb-sparing surgical resection is the mainstay of treatment. Radiation is used for unresectable tumors and as a neoadjuvant or an adjuvant to resection. The use of chemotherapy is controversial, and no standardized protocol has been established.

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