Is radiotherapy important for low-grade soft tissue sarcoma of the extremity?

Peter F.M. Choong, Ivy A. Petersen, Antonio G. Nascimento, Franklin H. Sim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Radiotherapy and limb-preserving surgery has replaced amputation and compartmental resection for treatment of soft tissue sarcomas. However, the role of radiotherapy in low-grade tumors remains unclear. This study reviews the outcomes of 132 patients who received multi-modality treatment for low-grade soft tissue sarcoma. Large primary tumors (> 5 cm) and the absence of radiotherapy correlated with local recurrence. Radiotherapy was most effective in patients operated on with marginal margins. Patients who were treated with wide surgical margins or had small tumors (≤ 5 cm) showed no benefit with adjuvant radiotherapy. Size greater than 5 cm and local recurrence correlated with metastasis. Radiotherapy appears to be important in the management of low-grade soft tissue sarcoma. The principles of local treatment for low-grade soft tissue sarcoma should be the same as for high-grade tumors with a combination of surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy. In a subset of patients with small and widely excised tumors, consideration may be given to with-holding radiotherapy. Local recurrence and metastasis from low-grade soft tissue sarcoma may occur as long as 1 decade after primary tumor resection. Long-term review of patients with low-grade tumors may be indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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