Background: To assess changes in survival over time of extremity soft tissue sarcoma (ESTS) patients treated at a single reference institution. Patients and methods: Patients with primary localized adult-type ESTS surgically treated at our institution between 1987 and 2007 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were categorized into four 5-year groups according to the timing of their first operation. Crude cumulative incidence (CCI) of sarcoma-specific mortality (SSM), local recurrence (LR), and distant metastases (DMs) were calculated for each time period. Results: A total of 1094 patients were identified. Median follow-up was 81 months. CCI of SSM and LR were significantly better in period 4 in comparison to periods 1-3 (P <0.001 for both end points), dropping, respectively, from 15% to 6% and from 23% to 9%. An overall improvement of DMs-free survival at 5 years could be detected in the latter period, as well as a better postmetastasis survival. Conclusions: Reference institutions for sarcomas may have improved their outcome in the last years. Although biases of retrospective analyses as well as the effect of institutional learning curves need to be discounted, it is possible that optimal exploitation of a series of subtle improvements in sarcoma treatment may make a difference in results currently achievable.
- Treatment outcome
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