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Watch and Wait Approach for Re-excision After Unplanned Yet Macroscopically Complete Excision of Extremity and Superficial Truncal Soft Tissue Sarcoma is Safe and Does Not Affect Metastatic Risk or Amputation Rate

Gauthier Decanter MD, Eberhard Stoeckle MD, Charles Honore MD, PhD, Pierre Meeus MD, Jean Camille Mattei MD, PhD, Pascale Dubray-Longeras MD, Gwenael Ferron MD, Sébastien Carrere MD, Sylvain Causeret MD, Jean-Marc Guilloit MD, Magali Fau MD, Philippe Rosset MD, PhD, Jean-Christophe Machiavello MD, Jean Baptiste Delhorme MD, PhD, Nicolas Regenet MD, François Gouin MD, PhD, Jean-Yves Blay MD, PhD, J
Volume 26, Issue 11 / October , 2019



The benefits of systematic re-excision (RE) after initial unplanned excision (UE) of soft tissue sarcoma (STS) are unknown.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of delayed RE versus systematic RE after UE on overall survival (OS), metastatic relapse-free survival (MRFS), local relapse-free survival (LRFS), and rate of amputation.


Patients who underwent complete UE, without metastasis or residual disease, for primary extremity or superficial STS between 2007 and 2013 were analyzed. The amputation rate, LRFS, MRFS, and OS were assessed in cases of systematic RE in sarcoma referral centers (Group A), systematic RE outside of community centers (Group B), or without RE (Group C).


Groups A, B, and C included 300 (48.2%), 71 (11.4%), and 251 (40.4%) patients, respectively. Median follow-up was 61 months and 5-year OS was 88.4%, 87.3%, and 88% in Groups A, B, and C, respectively (p = 0.22), while 5-year MFRS was 85.4%, 86.2%, and 84.9%, respectively (p = 0.938); RE (p = 0.55) did not influence MRFS. The 5-year LRFS was 83%, 73.5%, and 63.8% in Groups A, B and C, respectively (p = 0.00001). Of the 123 local recurrences observed, 0/28, 1/15, and 5/80 patients in Groups A, B, and C, respectively, required amputation (p = 0.41). Factors influencing LRFS were adjuvant radiotherapy [hazard ratio (HR) 0.21; p = 0.0001], initial R0 resection (HR 0.24, p = 0.0001), and Group A (HR 0.44; p = 0.01).


Systematic RE in sarcoma centers offers best local control but does not impact OS. Delayed RE at the time of local relapse, if any, could be an option.

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