Amputation for Recurrent Soft Tissue Sarcoma of the Extremity: Indications and Outcome
ABSTRACT Background: Limb salvage after primary site failure of extremity soft tissue sarcoma is a challenging problem. Amputation may be the most effective treatment option in selected patients with local recurrence. We compared the outcome of patients treated with amputation versus limb-sparing surgery (LSS) for locally recurrent extremity sarcoma.Methods: From 1982 to 2000, 1178 patients with localized primary extremity sarcoma underwent LSS. Of these, 204 (17%) developed local recurrence. Eighteen (9%) required major amputation and the remainder underwent LSS, of which 34 were selected for matched-pair analysis according to established prognostic variables. Rates of recurrence or death were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Following adjustment for prognostic variables, a Mantel-Haenszel test was used to compare the outcome between the two treatment groups.Results: Patients in each group were well matched. All patients had high-grade tumors deep to the fascia. Median time to local recurrence was similar for both groups. Median follow-up was 95 months. Amputation was associated with a significant improvement in local control of disease (94% vs. 74%; P = .04). We observed no difference in disease-free (P = .48), disease-specific (P = .74), or overall survival (P = .93) between the two groups. Median postrecurrence survival was 20 months and 5-year OS was 36% for the entire study group.Conclusions: Limb-sparing treatment achieves local control in the majority of recurrent extremity sarcomas for which amputation is infrequently indicated. Amputation improves local disease control but not survival under these circumstances.