Impact of neoadjuvant chemotherapy on postoperative morbidity in soft tissue sarcomas

Funda Meric, Mira Milas, Kelly K. Hunt, Kenneth R. Hess, Peter W.T. Pisters, Gerhard Hildebrandt, Shreyaskumar R. Patel, Robert S. Benjamin, Carl Plager, Nicholas E.J. Papadopolous, Michael A. Burgess, Raphael E. Pollock, Barry W. Feig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NeoCT) does not increase morbidity in patients undergoing radical surgery for soft tissue sarcomas. Patients and Methods: The records of 309 patients who presented to The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for definitive surgical management of primary soft tissue sarcomas were retrospectively reviewed. One hundred five patients who received NeoCT were compared with 204 patients who had surgery first (Surg). Patients had extremity sarcomas (71 NeoCT patients and 130 Surg patients) or retroperitoneal/visceral sarcomas (34 NeoCT and 74 Surg). Results: NeoCT patients had larger tumors (median, 12 v 8 cm), more frequently had high-grade tumors (90% v 64%), and were younger (median age 47 v 55 years). The incidence of surgical complications was not different for NeoCT patients than for Surg patients, both in those with extremity sarcomas (34% v 41%) and in those with retroperitoneal/visceral sarcomas (29% v 34%). The most common complications were wound infections and other wound complications. Preoperative radiation therapy, autologous flap coverage, and extremity tumors were associated with increased wound complications. No significant differences in length of hospital stay, rate of readmission, or rate of reoperation for complications were found between the NeoCT and Surg groups. One of the three postoperative deaths in our series occurred in the NeoCT group. Conclusion: In this retrospective review, there was no evidence that NeoCT increased postoperative morbidity in patients with soft tissue sarcomas. Prospective, randomized studies are needed to confirm these results. (C) 2000 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3378-3383
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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