Autologous fat grafting after sarcoma surgery: Evaluation of oncological safety

Angela Pennati, Egidio Riggio, Giuseppe Marano, Elia Biganzoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The regenerative effectiveness of lipoaspirate procedures relies on the presence of mesenchymal stem cells, but the stromal microenvironment and hormonal secretions of the adipose tissue may be involved in cancer growth. Only few oncological outcome studies of fat grafting at the surgical site of malignant neoplasms of mesenchymal origin are available; none of these studies examined a series of sarcoma cases.

OBJECTIVES: We analyzed outcome in terms of local or distant spread and overall survival to investigate the oncological safety of fat grafting in patients with sarcoma.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Sixty consecutive patients who had undergone 143 fat grafting procedures after surgical resection of bone and soft tissue sarcomas of the head, trunk, and limbs with clear resection margins were enrolled from 2004 to 2015 in our tertiary care center. A multidisciplinary sarcoma team administered adjuvant therapies. Patients were recurrence free at fat grafting.

RESULTS: The overall median follow-up was 7.5 years. At follow-up after fat grafting (2.4 years), one patient had distant metastasis and two had local relapse. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed disease-free survival rate of 95.4% (CI: 89.1-100.0) at 24 months. The risk of local recurrence (LR) within 24 months was 4.6% (CI: 0.0-20.9). The probability of not having LR after fat grafting was ≥ 89.1%.

CONCLUSION: We found no evidence of an increased cancer risk after fat grafting procedures in patients with sarcoma, but a stimulatory role of fat cannot be excluded for bone sarcomas based on the cases reported here, and further studies are therefore needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1723-1729
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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