Treatment of Retroperitoneal Sarcoma
Dina Lev-Chelouche, Subhi Abu-Abeid, Mordechai Gutman, Yoram Kluger, Moshe Michovitch, Isaac Meller, Moshe Inbar, Joseph M. Klausner
Depts. of Surgery B, Orthopedic Oncology and Oncology, Tel Aviv - Sourasky Medical Center (Affiliated with Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University)
Soft tissue sarcomas are exceedingly rare, making up less than 1% of all solid malignancies. In the retroperitoneum, they tend to be large when diagnosed and are a therapeutic challenge to the surgical oncologist. Our experience with 51 patients with retroperitoneal sarcomas operated on during the past 4 years is presented. 37 were primary and 26 presented as recurrent tumors. The group included many different histological sub-types, the majority being high grade tumors.
Complete resection was achieved in 84%, necessitating extensive surgery, but was not possible in 8 patients (16%) who underwent partial resection or biopsy only. There was 1 perioperative fatality (2%). 18 (35%) suffered complications, all of which were reversible. The estimated 5-year survival in the complete resection group is 40%, while none of those who underwent partial resection survived more than 2 years. There was significantly better survival in patients with primary, low grade sarcomas which were smaller than 8 cm, compared to those with high-grade, recurrent sarcomas larger than 8 cm. Local recurrence developed in 8 patients of the complete resection group (18%), 2 months to 3 years after surgery.
These data show that despite the concept of retroperitoneal sarcomas as being aggressive, invasive tumors with a poor prognosis, the prognosis is not unusually bad. With proper surgical technique, resectability may be high, with improved overall survival.