(Neo)adjuvant treatment in localised soft tissue sarcoma: The unsolved affair

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are rare and heterogeneous tumours. A correct definition of STS is imperative from the very beginning of disease management, to guide the diagnostic and imaging work-up, and help to establish the prognosis on which the therapeutic strategy will be based. Over the last few years, many efforts have been made to identify characteristics that could predict disease behaviour and to enrich the therapeutic armamentarium against the advanced disease, that is still characterised by poor prognosis. Surgery remains the milestone of treatment for localised STS, whereas many uncertainties regarding the role of adjuvant and neoadjuvant treatment persist. Some controlled evidence is available, but often conflicting and insufficient to make chemotherapy (CT) a standard practice and, currently, a common and shared strategy does not exist. The biggest question concerns the prospective identification of the subgroup of patients who would benefit the most from (neo)adjuvant therapies. In light of the growing understanding of different biologies and sensitivities of the various sarcoma subtypes, the value of histology in the selection of peri-operative treatments is one of the most intriguing topics under discussion. In this perspective, a new generation of neoadjuvant trials have been planned and are currently ongoing. The aim of this review was to rekindle interest in the long-standing topic of (neo)adjuvant CT in localised STS, providing an update on its role in sarcomas' management and highlighting future directions and consequential factors needed to further improve outcomes in this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Chemotherapy
  • Histology-driven therapy
  • Nomogram
  • Prognostic factors
  • Radiotherapy
  • Sarcoma
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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