H S Schwartz

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Michigan, United States

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Publications (159)558.55 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background The prevalence and cost of unnecessary advanced imaging studies (AIS) in the evaluation of long bone cartilaginous lesions have not been studied previously. Methods A total of 105 enchondromas and 19 chondrosarcomas arising in long bones from July 2008 until April 2012 in 121 patients were reviewed. Advanced imaging was defined as MRI, CT, bone scan, skeletal survey, or CT biopsy. Two blinded radiologists independently reviewed the initial imaging study and determined if further imaging was indicated based on that imaging study alone. The cost of imaging was taken from our institution’s global charge list. Imaging was deemed unnecessary if it was not recommended by our radiologists after review of the initial imaging study. The difference in cost was calculated by subtracting the cost of imaging recommended by each radiologist from the cost of unnecessary imaging. The sensitivity and specificity for distinguishing enchondromas from chondrosarcomas was calculated. A minimum of 2 years from diagnosis of an enchondroma was required to monitor for malignant transformation. Results Of patients diagnosed with an enchondroma, 85 % presented with AIS. The average enchondroma patient presented with one unnecessary AIS. The radiologists’ interpretations agreed 85 % of the time for enchondromas and 100 % for chondrosarcomas. The sensitivity and specificity for distinguishing enchondromas from chondrosarcomas was 95 % for one radiologist and 87 and 95 % for the other. The average unnecessary cost per enchondroma patient was $1,346.18. Conclusions Unnecessary AIS are frequently performed and are a significant source of expense. The imaging algorithms outlined in this study may reduce unnecessary AIS.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 01/2015; · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Underlying vascular disease is an important pathophysiologic factor shared among many co-morbid conditions associated with poor fracture healing, such as diabetes, obesity, and age. Determining the temporal and spatial patterns of revascularization following fracture is essential for devising therapeutic strategies to augment this critical reparative process. Seminal studies conducted in the last century have investigated the pattern of vascularity in bone following fracture. The consensus model culminating from these classical studies depicts a combination of angiogenesis emanating from both the intact intramedullary and periosteal vasculature. Subsequent to the plethora of experimental fracture angiography in the early to mid-20th century there has been a paucity of reports describing the pattern of revascularization of a healing fracture. Consequently the classical model of revascularization of a displaced fracture has remained largely unchanged. Here, we have overcome the limitations of animal fracture models performed in the above described classical studies by combining novel techniques of bone angiography and a reproducible murine femur fracture model to demonstrate for the first time the complete temporal and spatial pattern of revascularization in a displaced/stabilized fracture. These studies were designed specifically to i) validate the classical model of fracture revascularization of a displaced/stabilized fracture ii) assess the association between intramedullary and periosteal angiogenesis and iii) elucidate the expression of VEGF/VEGF-R in relation to the classical model. From the studies, in conjunction with classic studies of angiogenesis during fracture repair, we propose a novel model (see abstract graphic) that defines the process of bone revascularization subsequent to injury to guide future approaches to enhance fracture healing. This new model validates and advances the classical model by providing evidence that during the process of revascularization of a displaced fracture 1) periosteal angiogenesis occurs in direct communication with the remaining intact intramedullary vasculature as a result of a vascular shunt and 2) vascular union occurs through an intricate interplay between intramembranous and endochondral VEGF/VEGF-R mediated angiogenesis.
    Bone 10/2014; · 4.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background and Objectives In 2002, with the advent of better classification techniques, the World Health Organization declassified malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) as a distinct histological entity in favor of the reclassified entity high-grade undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (HGUPS). To date, no study has evaluated comparative outcomes between patients designated historically in the MFH group and those classified in the new HGUPS classification. Our goal was to determine the presence of clinical prognostic implications that have evolved with this new nomenclature.Methods Sixty-eight patients were retrospectively evaluated between January 1998 and December 2007. Forty-five patients diagnosed with MFH between 1998 and 2003 were compared to 23 patients in the HGUPS group, from 2004 to 2007. Primary prognostic outcomes assessed included overall survival, metastatic-free, and local recurrence-free survival.ResultsFive-year survivorship between MFH and HGUPS populations, using Kaplan–Meier or competing risk methods, did not show statistical difference for overall survival (60% vs. 74%, P = 0.36), 5-year metastasis-free survival (31% vs. 26%, P = 0.67), or local recurrence-free survival (13% vs. 16%, P = 0.62).Conclusion Despite new classification nomenclature, there appears to be no identifiable prognostic implications for sarcomas that remain in the unclassifiable HGUPS group, as compared to the previously accepted MFH group. J. Surg. Oncol. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Surgical Oncology 09/2014; 111(2). · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background We reviewed medico-legal cases related to extremity sarcoma malpractice in order to recognize those factors most commonly instigating sarcoma litigation.Methods Over one million legal cases available in a national legal database were searched for malpractice verdicts and settlements involving extremity sarcoma spanning 1980–2012. We categorized verdict/settlement resolutions by state, year, award amount, nature of the complaint/injury, specialty of the physician defendant, and academic affiliation of defendant–amongst other variables.ResultsOf the 216 cases identified, 57% of case resolutions favored the plaintiff, with a mean indemnity payment of $2.30 million (range $65,076–$12.66 million). Delay in diagnosis (81%), unnecessary amputation (11%), and misdiagnosis (7%) accounted for the majority of complaints. The greatest numbers of claims were filed against primary care specialties (34%), orthopaedic surgeons (23%), and radiologists (12%). Individual state tort reform measures were not protective against case resolution outcome.Conclusions Reported medico-legal claims involving sarcoma care continue to rise, with mean indemnity payments approaching 10 times that for other reported medical/surgical specialties. Primary care and orthopaedic specialties are the most commonly named physician defendants, citing a delay in diagnosis. This suggests further education in the front line diagnosis and management of sarcomas is needed. J. Surg. Oncol. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Surgical Oncology 08/2014; · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Obesity is a growing epidemic and has been associated with an increased frequency of complications after various surgical procedures. Studies also have shown adipose tissue to promote a microenvironment favorable for tumor growth. Additionally, the relationship between obesity and prognosis of soft tissue sarcomas has yet to be evaluated.
    Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 06/2014; · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Radiographic imaging plays a crucial role in the diagnosis of osteosarcoma. Currently, computed-tomography (CT) is used to measure tumor-induced osteolysis as a marker for tumor growth by monitoring the bone fractional volume. As most tumors primarily induce osteolysis, lower bone fractional volume has been found to correlate with tumor aggressiveness. However, osteosarcoma is an exception as it induces osteolysis and produces mineralized osteoid simultaneously. Given that competent bone is highly anisotropic (systematic variance in its architectural order renders its physical properties dependent on direction of load) and that tumor induced osteolysis and osteogenesis are structurally disorganized relative to competent bone, we hypothesized that μCT-derived measures of anisotropy could be used to qualitatively and quantitatively detect osteosarcoma provoked deviations in bone, both osteolysis and osteogenesis, in vivo. We tested this hypothesis in a murine model of osteosarcoma cells orthotopically injected into the tibia. We demonstrate that, in addition to bone fractional volume, μCT-derived measure of anisotropy is a complete and accurate method to monitor osteosarcoma-induced osteolysis. Additionally, we found that unlike bone fractional volume, anisotropy could also detect tumor-induced osteogenesis. These findings suggest that monitoring tumor-induced changes in the structural property isotropy of the invaded bone may represent a novel means of diagnosing primary and metastatic bone tumors.
    PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e97381. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IntroductionThe standard of care for extremity soft tissue sarcomas continues to be negative-margin limb salvage surgery. Radiotherapy is frequently used as an adjunct to decrease local recurrence. No differences in survival have been found between preoperative and postoperative radiotherapy regimens. However, it is uncertain if the use of a postoperative boost in addition to preoperative radiotherapy reduces local recurrence rates.Methods This retrospective review evaluated patients who received preoperative radiotherapy (n = 49) and patients who received preoperative radiotherapy with a postoperative boost (n = 45). The primary endpoint analysed was local recurrence, with distant metastasis and death due to sarcoma analysed as secondary endpoints. Wilcoxon rank-sum test and either χ2 or Fisher's exact test were used to compare variables. Multivariable regression analyses were used to take into account potential confounders and identify variables that affected outcomes.ResultsNo differences in the proportion or rate of local recurrence, distant metastasis or death due to sarcoma were observed between the two groups (P > 0.05). The two groups were similarly matched with respect to demographics such as age, race and sex and tumour characteristics including excision status, tumour site, size, depth, grade, American Joint Committee on Cancer stage, chemotherapy receipt and histological subtype (P > 0.05). The postoperative boost group had a larger proportion of patients with positive microscopic margins (62% vs 10%; P < 0.001).Conclusion No differences in rates of local recurrence, distant metastasis or death due to sarcoma were found in patients who received both pre- and postoperative radiotherapy when compared with those who received only preoperative radiotherapy.
    Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology 06/2014; · 0.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone malignancy and accounts for more than half of primary skeletal malignancies in children and young adults. While vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in osteosarcoma has been associated with poor outcome, its role in the pathogenesis of osteosarcoma remains controversial. Here, VEGF and VEGFR1 expression in both human and murine osteosarcoma cells associated with increasing malignant potential. Autocrine VEGF/VEGFR1 signaling resulted in constitutive activation of VEGFR1 in highly aggressive osteosarcoma cells. In addition, survival and proliferation of highly aggressive osteosarcoma cells was dependent on autocrine VEGF/R1 signaling in vitro. The effect of VEGFR1 expression on in vivo tumor growth and angiogenesis was evaluated by immunoselecting subpopulations of osteosarcoma cells that express high or low levels of VEGFR1. Cell enriched for high VEGFR1 expression showed increased VEGF production, tumor growth, tumor angiogenesis and osteolysis in vivo. Additionally, it was demonstrated that VEGF and VEGFR1 are co-expressed by a subset of tumor cells in human osteosarcoma, similar to what was observed in the murine osteosarcoma cells. These results suggest that autocrine VEGF/VEGFR1 signaling in a subpopulation of tumor cells plays a pivotal role in osteosarcoma progression. Implications: Aggressive osteosarcoma phenotypes are mediated by autocrine VEGF/VEGFR1 signaling and improved stratification measures and novel anti-angiogenic strategies may benefit this specific tumor type.
    Molecular Cancer Research 04/2014; · 4.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant tumor of bone and accounts for half of all primary skeletal malignancies in children and teenagers. The prognosis for patients who fail or progress on first-line chemotherapy protocols is poor, therefore, additional adjuvant therapeutic strategies are needed. A recent feasibility study has demonstrated that the nitrogen-containing bisphosphonate zoledronic acid (ZOL) can be combined safely with conventional chemotherapy. However, the pharmacodynamics of bisphosphonate therapy is not well characterized. Osteosarcoma is a highly angiogenic tumor. Recent reports of the anti-angiogenic effects of bisphosphonates prompted us to determine whether nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates (ZOL and alendronate) treatment attenuate osteosarcoma growth by inhibition of osteoclast activity, tumor-mediated angiogenesis, or direct inhibitory effects on osteosarcoma. Here, we demonstrate that bisphosphonates directly inhibit VEGFR2 expression in endothelial cells, as well as endothelial cell proliferation and migration. Additionally, bisphosphonates also decrease VEGF-A expression in osteosarcoma (K7M3) cells, resulting in reduced stimulation of endothelial cell migration in co-culture assays. ZOL also decreases VEGFR1 expression in aggressive osteosarcoma cell lines (K7M3, 143B) and induces apoptosis of these cells, but has negligible effects on less aggressive osteosarcoma cell lines (K12 and TE85). In vivo ZOL treatment results in significant reduction in osteosarcoma-initiated angiogenesis and tumor growth in a murine model of osteosarcoma. In conclusion, bisphosphonates have diverse growth inhibitory effects on osteosarcoma through: (1) activation of apoptosis and inhibition of cell proliferation, (2) inhibition of VEGF-A and VEGFR1 expression by tumor cells, (3) inhibition of tumor-induced angiogenesis, and (4) direct inhibitory actions on endothelial cells.
    Bone 03/2014; · 4.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant tumor of bone, and accounts for around 50% of all primary skeletal malignancies. In addition to novel chemotherapies, there is a need for adjuvant therapies designed to inhibit osteosarcoma proliferation and tumor-induced osteolysis to attenuate tumor expansion and metastasis. As such, studies on the efficacy of bisphosphonates on human osteosarcoma are planned following feasibility studies which determined that the bisphosphonate zoledronic-acid (ZOL) can be safely combined with conventional chemotherapy (1). However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for, and means of inhibiting, osteosarcoma-induced osteolysis are largely unknown. We establish that osteosarcoma growth directly correlates with tumor-induced osteolysis and activation of osteoclasts in-vivo. In-vitro, tumor cells were determined to expresses surface, but not soluble, RANKL and stimulated osteoclastogenesis in a manner directly proportional to their malignant potential. In addition, an aggressive osteosarcoma cell line was shown to secrete monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) resulting in robust monocyte migration. Since MCP-1 is a key cytokine for monocyte recruitment and surface bound RANKL strongly supports local osteoclastogenesis, we suggest that high levels of these signaling molecules are associated with the aggressive potential of osteosarcoma. Consistent with these findings, abundant expression of RANKL/MCP-1 was observed in tumor in-vivo, and MCP-1 plasma levels strongly correlated with tumor progression and osteolysis. ZOL administration directly attenuates osteosarcoma production of RANKL/MCP-1, reducing tumor-induced bone destruction. In vivo, these findings also correlated with significant reduction in osteosarcoma growth. ZOL attenuates tumor-induced osteolysis, not only through direct inhibition of osteoclasts, but also through direct actions on tumor expression of osteoclast activators. These data provide insight regarding the effect of ZOL on osteosarcoma essential for designing the planned upcoming prospective randomized trials to determine the efficacy of bisphosphonates on osteosarcoma in humans. © 2014 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
    Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 01/2014; · 6.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Racial disparities in access and survival have been reported in a variety of cancers. These issues, however, have yet to be explored in detail in patients with soft-tissue sarcomas (STS). The purpose of this paper was to investigate the independent role of race with respect to survival outcomes in STS. A total of 7601 patients were evaluated in this study. A SEER registry query for patients over 20 years old with extremity STS diagnosed between 2004 and 2009 (n=7225) was performed. Survival outcomes were analyzed after patients were stratified by race. Multivariable survival models were used to identify independent predictors of sarcoma-specific death. The Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to compare continuous variables. Statistical significance was maintained at P<0.05. This study showed that African American patients were more likely to die of their STS. They were younger at presentation (P=0.001), had larger tumors (P<0.001), had less surgery (P=0.002), received radiotherapy less frequently (P=0.024), had higher family income (P<0.001), and were less likely to be married (P<0.001). African American race by itself was not an independent predictor of death. African Americans encounter death due to STS at a much larger proportion and faster rate than their respective white counterparts. African Americans frequently present with a larger size tumor, do not undergo surgical resection, or receive radiation therapy as frequently as compared with their white peers. Barriers to timely and appropriate care should be further investigated in this group of at-risk patients.
    American journal of clinical oncology 01/2014; · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prior studies have demonstrated postoperative infection may confer a survival benefit after osteosarcoma resection. Our aim was to determine whether infection after soft tissue sarcoma resection has similar effects on metastasis, recurrence and survival. A retrospective review was conducted; 396 patients treated surgically for a soft tissue sarcoma between 2000 and 2008 were identified. Relevant oncologic data were collected. Fifty-six patients with a postoperative infection were compared with 340 patients without infection. Hazard ratios and overall cumulative risk were evaluated. There was no difference in survival, local recurrence or metastasis between patients with or without a postoperative infection. Patients were evenly matched for age at diagnosis, gender, smoking status, and diabetes status. Tumor characteristics did not differ between groups in tumor size, location, depth, grade, margin status, stage, and histologic subtype. There was no difference in utilization of chemotherapy or radiation therapy between groups. From our competing risk model, only positive margin status significantly impacted the risk of local recurrence. An increase in tumor size corresponded to an increased risk of metastasis and death. Postoperative infection neither conferred a protective effect, nor increased the risk of adverse oncologic outcomes after soft tissue sarcoma resection. J. Surg. Oncol. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Surgical Oncology 11/2013; · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) continue to be excised inappropriately without proper preoperative planning. The reasons for this remain elusive. The role of insurance status and patient distance from sarcoma center in influencing such inappropriate excisions were examined in this study. This retrospective review of a single institution prospective database evaluated 400 patients treated for STS of the extremities between January 2000 and December 2008. Two hundred fifty three patients had a primary excision while 147 patients underwent re-excision. Wilcoxon rank sum test and either χ(2) or Fisher's exact were used to compare variables. Multivariable regression analyses were used to take into account potential confounders and identify variables that affected excision status. Tumor size, site, depth, stage, margins, and histology were significantly different between the primary excision and re-excision groups; P < 0.05. Insurance status and patient distance from the treatment center were not statistically different between the two groups. Large and deep tumors and certain histology types predicted appropriate referral. Inappropriate excision of STS is not influenced by patient distance from a sarcoma center or by a patient's insurance status. In this study, tumor size, depth, and certain histology types predicted the appropriate referral of a STS to a sarcoma center. J. Surg. Oncol. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Surgical Oncology 09/2013; · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Although survival outcomes have been evaluated between those undergoing a planned primary excision and those undergoing a reexcision following an unplanned resection, the financial implications associated with a reexcision have yet to be elucidated. METHODS: A query for financial data (professional, technical, indirect charges) for soft tissue sarcoma excisions from 2005 to 2008 was performed. A total of 304 patients (200 primary excisions and 104 reexcisions) were identified. Wilcoxon rank sum tests and χ (2) or Fisher's exact tests were used to compare differences in demographics and tumor characteristics. Multivariable linear regression analyses were performed with bootstrapping techniques. RESULTS: The average professional charge for a primary excision was $9,694 and $12,896 for a reexcision (p < .001). After adjusting for tumor size, American Society of Anesthesiologists status, grade, and site, patients undergoing reexcision saw an increase of $3,699 in professional charges more than those with a primary excision (p < .001). Although every 1-cm increase in size of the tumor results in an increase of $148 for a primary excision (p = .006), size was not an independent factor in affecting reexcision charges. The grade of the tumor was positively associated with professional charges of both groups such that higher-grade tumors resulted in higher charges compared to lower-grade tumors (p < .05). CONCLUSIONS: Reexcision of an incompletely excised sarcoma results in significantly higher professional charges when compared to a single, planned complete excision. Additionally, when the cost of the primary unplanned surgery is considered, the financial burden nearly doubles.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 04/2013; · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Administration of preoperative radiotherapy for extremity soft tissue sarcoma improves local control, while allowing for a more conservative surgical resection. During radiation treatment tumor size typically decreases or remains constant. In a subset of patients, however, a size increase in the tumor occurs. Our goal was to investigate the prognosis of patients who had a size increase of at least 20% over the course of preoperative radiotherapy versus those who did not. METHODS: This retrospective study evaluated 70 patients treated for localized primary STS of the extremities between January 2000 and December 2008. Kaplan-Meier curves for disease-specific and metastasis-free survival were calculated for both groups. RESULTS: Sixty-one patients had stable or decrease local tumor size following preoperative radiotherapy and nine patients had an increase of at least 20% in tumor size. There were no statistically significant differences found in disease-specific survival and metastasis-free survival (Gray's test, P = 0.93 and P = 0.68, respectively) among the two groups. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that a 20% increase in tumor size following preoperative radiotherapy did not result in a worse outcome for patients when compared to those who had stable or decrease local tumor size following preoperative radiotherapy. J. Surg. Oncol © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Surgical Oncology 02/2013; · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite reports of sex steroid receptor and COX2 expression in desmoid-type fibromatosis, responses to single agent therapy with anti-estrogens and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are unpredictable. Perhaps combination pharmacotherapy might be more effective in desmoid tumors that co-express these targets. Clearly, a further understanding of the signaling pathways deregulated in desmoid tumors is essential for development of targeted molecular therapy. Transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) and bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are important regulators of fibroblast proliferation and matrix deposition, but little is known about the TGFβ superfamily in fibromatosis. A tissue microarray representing 27 desmoid tumors was constructed; 14 samples of healing scar and 6 samples of normal fibrous tissue were included for comparison. Expression of selected receptors and activated downstream transcription factors of TGFβ family signaling pathways, β-catenin, sex steroid hormone receptors and COX2 were assessed by immunohistochemistry; patterns of co-expression were explored via correlational statistical analyses. In addition to β-catenin, immunoreactivity for phosphorylated SMAD2/3 (indicative of active TGFβ signaling) and COX2 was significantly increased in desmoid tumors compared to healing scar and quiescent fibrous tissue. Low levels of phosphorylated SMAD1/5/8 were detected in only a minority of cases. TGFβ receptor type 1 and androgen receptor were expressed in both desmoid tumors and scar, but not in fibrous tissue. Estrogen receptor-β was present in all cases studied. TGFβ signaling appears to be activated in desmoid-type fibromatosis and phosphorylated SMAD2/3 and COX2 immunoreactivity may be of diagnostic utility in these tumors. Given the frequency of androgen receptor, estrogen receptor-β and COX2 co-expression in desmoid tumors, further assessment of the efficacy of combination pharmacotherapy using hormonal agonists/antagonists together with COX2 inhibitors should be considered.
    Cancer Science 10/2012; · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine if amputation increases survival when compared to limb salvage surgery in patients with a soft tissue sarcoma (STS) of the extremity when there is often a misconception among physicians and patients that ablative surgery eliminates local recurrence and increases overall survival. This retrospective cohort study assessed 278 patients with STS and compared 18 patients who had undergone amputations for soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities to a comparative cohort of 260 patients who underwent limb salvage surgery during the same time period. Our limb salvage surgery (LSS) rate was 94% overall for soft tissue sarcomas with a median follow-up of 3.1 years. Patients undergoing amputations either had tumors that involved a critical neurovascular bundle (in particular nerve rather than vessel resection was more responsible for a decision toward ablation), or underlying bone or had neoplasms whose large size would require such an enormous resection that a functional limb would not remain. In comparing prognostic effects, mainly death due to sarcoma, distant metastasis and local recurrence, it was found that there was no statistically significant difference between patients undergoing amputation to those undergoing limb salvage surgery (p > 0.05). While amputations do not increase overall survival in soft tissue sarcomas of the extremity as compared to LSS, they are still a valuable option in a surgeon's arsenal. In particular, amputations can provide improved local control and symptomatic treatment in patients who might not be candidates for limb salvage surgery.
    European journal of surgical oncology: the journal of the European Society of Surgical Oncology and the British Association of Surgical Oncology 09/2012; · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Wound closure accounts for a relatively constant portion of the time required to complete a surgical case. Both longer closure times and wound infections contribute to higher medical costs and patient morbidity. QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: We therefore determined whether (1) biologic and treatment factors greater influenced wound healing than the choice of sutures or staples; and (2) different times to closure affected cost when sutures or staples are used in patients with musculoskeletal tumors. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 511 patients who had sarcoma resections of the buttock, thigh, and femur from 2003 to 2010; 376 had closure with sutures and 135 with staples. Data were abstracted on patient demographics, comorbidities, select procedural data, and wound complications. Wound complications were defined by hospitalization within 6 months postoperatively for a wound problem, irrigation and débridement, or infection treated with antibiotics. We determined the association between staples versus sutures and wound complications after controlling for confounding factors. The minimum followup was 2 weeks. A prospective, timed analysis of wounds closed with either sutures or staples was also performed. RESULTS: We found an association between obesity and radiation and wound complications. Wounds were closed an average of 5.3 minutes faster with staples than with suture (0.29 minutes versus 5.6 minutes, respectively), saving a mean 2.1% of the total operating time although the total operating time was similar in the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: We found no difference in wound complications after closure with sutures or staples, although obesity and radiation treatment appear to affect wound outcomes. Data suggest that time saved in the operating room by closing with staples compensates for added material costs and does not compromise wound care in patients with lower extremity sarcomas. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level II, prognostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
    Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 08/2012; · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Limb salvage surgery (LSS) has gained widespread acceptance as the current treatment for treating extremity soft tissue sarcoma (STS) and has been greatly refined since its inception. Combined with improved adjuvant treatment modalities, rates of local relapse have greatly decreased. Nonetheless, local recurrence still occurs and identifying the cause and the subsequent effects of local recurrence can provide valuable insights as LSS continues to evolve. Methods. This retrospective study evaluated 278 patients treated for STS of the extremities between 2000 and 2006. Of these, 41 patients developed a local recurrence while 247 did not. Tumor characteristics and prognostic outcomes were analyzed. Wilcoxon rank sum test and either χ(2) or Fisher's exact was used to compare variables. Kaplan Meier and Gray's test for cumulative risk were also performed. Results. Patients who had a positive margin were 3.76 times more likely to develop local recurrence when compared to those with negative margins. This corresponds to a 38% risk of local recurrence if the margins were positive after six years vs. 12% if the margins were negative. In patients who underwent a re-excision, the presence or absence of residual disease upon re-excision did not have any bearing on local recurrence (p = 0.27). In comparing patients with and without local recurrence, there was no statistically significant difference in the rate and the proportion encountering distant metastasis and death due to sarcoma (p > 0.05). Conclusions. Despite advancements in surgery, radiation and imaging, positive margins still occur, and the presence of positive margins following definitive treatment continues to remain as a strong predictor for local recurrence. While local recurrence represents a negative outcome for a patient, its impact on future prognosis is influenced by a variety of factors such as time to local recurrence as well as the tumor's inherent biological characteristics.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 08/2012; 52(4). · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Deep infection following endoprosthetic limb reconstruction for sarcoma of the long bones is a devastating complication occurring in 15% of sarcoma patients. Optimizing infection protocols and conducting definitive surgical trials are critical to improving outcomes. In this study, the PARITY (Prophylactic Antibiotic Regimens in Tumor Surgery) investigators aimed to examine surgeon preferences in antibiotic prophylaxis and perceptions about current evidence, as well as to ascertain interest in resolving uncertainty in the evidence with clinical trials. We used a cross-sectional survey to examine current practice in the prescription of prophylactic antibiotics in Musculoskeletal Tumor Surgery. The survey was approved by our institution's Ethics Board and emailed to all Active Members of the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) and Canadian Orthopaedic Oncology Society (CANOOS). Survey answers were collected using an anonymous online survey tool. Of the 96 surgeons who received the questionnaire, 72 responded (75% response rate (% CI: 65.5, 82.5%)). While almost all respondents agreed antibiotic regimens were important in reducing the risk of infection, respondents varied considerably in their choices of antibiotic regimens and dosages. Although 73% (95% CI: 61, 82%) of respondents prescribe a first generation cephalosporin, 25% favor additional coverage with an aminoglycoside and/or Vancomycin. Of those who prescribe a cephalosporin, 33% prescribe a dosage of one gram for all patients and the reminder prescribe up to 2 grams based on body weight. One in three surgeons (95% CI: 25, 48%) believes antibiotics could be discontinued after 24 hours but 40% (95% CI: 30, 53%) continue antibiotics until the suction drain is removed. Given the ongoing uncertainty in evidence to guide best practices, 90% (95% CI: 81, 95%) of respondents agreed that they would change their practice if a large randomized controlled trial showed clear benefit of an antibiotic drug regimen different from what they are currently using. Further support for a clinical trial was observed by an overwhelming surgeon interest (87%; 95% CI: 77, 93%) in participating in a multi-center randomized controlled study. The current lack of guidelines for the prescription of prophylactic antibiotics in Musculoskeletal Tumor Surgery has left Orthopaedic Oncologists with varying opinions and practices. The lack of current evidence and strong surgeon support for participating in a definitive study provides strong rationale for clinical trials.
    BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 06/2012; 13:91. · 1.90 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
558.55 Total Impact Points


  • 1990–2014
    • Vanderbilt University
      • • Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation
      • • Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
      Nashville, Michigan, United States
    • Medical College of Wisconsin
      • Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
      Milwaukee, WI, United States
  • 2013
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham
      • Divison of Orthopaedic Surgery
      Birmingham, Alabama, United States
  • 2012
    • McMaster University
      • Department of Surgery
      Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    • Institute for Orthopaedic Surgery
      Lima, Ohio, United States
  • 2009
    • Duke University Medical Center
      • Division of Medical Oncology
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
  • 2006
    • University of Illinois Springfield
      Спрингфилд, Florida, United States
  • 1994
    • Dominican Hospital
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
  • 1989
    • Mayo Clinic - Rochester
      • Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
      Rochester, Minnesota, United States
    • Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
      • Department of Orthopedics
      Scottsdale, AZ, United States
  • 1973–1983
    • Roswell Park Cancer Institute
      • • Department of Experimental Therapeutics
      • • Grace Cancer Drug Center
      Buffalo, New York, United States
  • 1971
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • Department of Neurology
      San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 1960–1963
    • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
      New York City, New York, United States
    • Mount Sinai Hospital
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 1953
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • Department of Pharmacology
      Los Angeles, California, United States