• extremity;
  • soft tissue sarcoma;
  • re-resection;
  • outcomes;
  • radiotherapy



The purpose was to define the rate of local recurrence (LR) and identify prognostic factors for LR in patients with extremity soft-tissue sarcoma (STS) treated with limb-sparing surgery and a pathologically negative re-resection specimen without radiotherapy (RT).


A review of the prospective sarcoma database identified 200 patients with primary, nonmetastatic, extremity STS treated with limb-sparing surgery between June 1982 and December 2002 who had a pathologically confirmed negative re-resection. None of the patients had adjuvant RT. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine clinicopathologic factors associated with LR.


With a median follow-up of 82 months the 5-year actuarial LR rate was 9%. Factors associated with higher LR rates on univariate and multivariate analysis were older age, stage III presentation, and histology. The 5-year LR rate was 5% for those <50 compared with 15% for those ≥50 (P = .001). For patients with stage III the LR rate was 26% versus 7% for those with stage I/II (P < .001). On multivariate analysis only age ≥50 (relative risk [RR] 3.3; P = .02) and stage III disease (RR 3.4; P = .01) remained significant predictors for LR. When the cohort of patients was divided into 3 groups based on the number of risk factors present, the 5-year LRs were as follows: no risk factors (stage I/II and <50 years old) 4%, 1 risk factor (stage III or ≥50) 12%, and 2 risk factors (stage III and ≥50) 31% (P < .01).


Patients with a pathologically negative re-excision represent a heterogeneous group. Whereas the overall rate of local recurrence at 5 years was 9% for the entire cohort, patients with older age and/or stage III disease had a higher rate of LR. Therefore, treatment decisions especially with regard to adjuvant RT should be individualized and not be based solely on the finding of a negative re-resection. Cancer 2008. © 2008 American Cancer Society.