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Volume 4 (2000), Issue 1-2, Pages 11-16

Adjuvant Radiation Therapy of Retroperitoneal Sarcoma: The Role of Intraoperative Radiotherapy (IORT)

1The Charles and Bernice Blitman Department of Radiation Oncology, Beth Israel Medical Center, NewYork, USA
2St Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital Center, NewYork, USA

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. The purpose is to review the natural history, the clinicopathological prognostic factors, and the role of adjuvant radiation therapy with particular attention to the limited but favorable experience with IORT.

Methods. Retroperitoneal sarcomas present a continuing therapeutic challenge to the oncologist. In contrast to sarcomas of the extremity and superficial trunk in which complete resection plus radiation therapy results in excellent local control, sarcomas of the retroperitoneum are difficult to resect and even if completely resected, demonstrate high rates of local relapse, the primary pattern of failure. Due to the proximity of normal organs, the delivery of therapeutic doses of adjuvant external beam radiation therapy is problematic.To deliver adequate doses (>60 Gy) of external beam to most patients would result in unacceptable toxicity. The therapeutic dilemma is unfortunate and better strategies are needed. One attractive approach has been to incorporate intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) with maximal resection and external beam radiation.

Results and Discussion. A number of institutions have explored this approach with encouraging preliminary results.