Radiographic response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy is a predictor of local control and survival in soft tissue sarcomas

Funda Meric, Kenneth R. Hess, Datla G.K. Varma, Kelly K. Hunt, Peter W.T. Pisters, Kresimira M. Milas, Shreyaskumar R. Patel, Robert S. Benjamin, Carl Plager, Nicholas E.J. Papadopoulos, Michael A. Burgess, Raphael E. Pollock, Barry W. Feig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Downstaging of large soft tissue sarcomas can be accomplished by the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NeoCT). The authors tested the hypothesis that radiographic response to NeoCT predicts improved local control and survival. METHODS. The authors reviewed the medical records of 65 patients with Stage II or III soft tissue sarcoma (42 extremity, 23 retroperitoneal) who were treated with doxorubicin or ifosfamide-based NeoCT from January 1991 to December 1996. Radiographic response and impact on surgical therapy were determined retrospectively by comparing imaging studies obtained before and after chemotherapy. RESULTS. The radiographic responses observed were partial response (PR; 22 patients [34%]); minor response (MR; 6 patients [9%]); stable disease (20 patients [31%]); and progressive disease (17 patients [26%]). Downstaging sufficient to decrease the scope of the operation occurred in 13% of the patients, 78% had no change, and 9% had disease progression sufficient to increase the scope of the operation. Patients having any radiographic response (PR or MR) had a higher margin-negative resection rate, a better local recurrence-free survival rate, and a better overall survival rate than did nonresponders. CONCLUSIONS. The NeoCT regimens used in this study resulted in tumor shrinkage sufficient to impact surgical therapy in a few patients. However, radiographic response predicted improved local control and overall survival rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1120-1126
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Preoperative
  • Response
  • Soft tissue sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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