Skip to content

    Cancer Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Adult Soft Tissue Sarcoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Stage I Adult Soft Tissue Sarcoma

    Refer to the Treatment Option Overview section of this summary for a more detailed discussion of the roles of surgery and radiation therapy.

    Low-grade soft tissue sarcomas have little metastatic potential, but they have a propensity to recur locally. Accordingly, surgical excision with negative tissue margins of 1 cm to 2 cm or larger in all directions is the treatment of choice for patients with these early-stage sarcomas.[1,2,3] The Mohs surgical technique may be considered as an alternative to wide surgical excision for the very rare, small, well-differentiated primary sarcomas of the skin when cosmetic results are considered to be important, as margins can be assured with minimal normal tissue removal.[4]

    Recommended Related to Cancer

    General Information About Adult Soft Tissue Sarcoma

    Incidence and Mortality Estimated new cases and deaths from soft tissue sarcoma in the United States in 2014:[1] New cases: 12,020. Deaths: 4,740. Soft tissue sarcomas are malignant tumors that arise in any of the mesodermal tissues of the extremities (50%), trunk and retroperitoneum (40%), or head and neck (10%). The reported international incidence rates range from 1.8 to 5 per 100,000 per year.[2] Risk Factors and Genetic Factors The risk of sporadic soft tissue sarcomas...

    Read the General Information About Adult Soft Tissue Sarcoma article > >

    Carefully executed high-dose radiation therapy using a shrinking-field technique may be beneficial for unresectable tumors or for resectable tumors in which a high likelihood of residual disease is thought to be present when margins are judged to be inadequate, and when wider resection would require either an amputation or the removal of a vital organ.[5] Because of the low metastatic potential of these tumors, chemotherapy is usually not given.[6,7]

    Standard treatment options:

    1. Surgical excision of tumors no greater than 5 cm in diameter with negative tissue margins in all directions.[8,9,10,11,12]
    2. Surgical excision with preoperative radiation therapy (preRX) or postoperative radiation therapy (PORT). Radiation decreases the risk of local recurrence but has not been shown to increase overall survival.[13,14,15,16]
    3. If the tumor is unresectable, high-dose preRX may be used.[17]
    4. For tumors of the retroperitoneum, trunk, and head and neck, the following are options:
      • Surgical resection with the option of PORT if negative margins cannot be obtained. Wide margins are unusual in these sites, and radiation therapy is usually advocated for trunk and head and neck primary sites.[18]
      • PreRX followed by maximal surgical resection. Radiation therapy may be used in sarcomas of the trunk and head and neck to maximize local control because of the inability to obtain wide surgical margins.

    Current Clinical Trials

    1 | 2
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    man holding lung xray
    What you need to know.
    stem cells
    How they work for blood cancers.
     
    woman wearing pink ribbon
    Separate fact from fiction.
    Colorectal cancer cells
    Symptoms, screening tests, and more.
     
    Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
    Blog
    what is your cancer risk
    HEALTH CHECK
     
    colorectal cancer treatment advances
    Video
    breast cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
     
    prostate cancer overview
    SLIDESHOW
    lung cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
     
    ovarian cancer overview slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
    Actor Michael Douglas
    Article