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Volume 2009, Article ID 827912, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Nonreferral of Possible Soft Tissue Sarcomas in Adults: A Dangerous Omission in Policy

1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
2Laboratory of Pediatrics, University of Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
3Oncology Department, University of Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
4Radiation Oncology Division, Department of Oncology, University of Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain

Received 13 April 2009; Revised 18 September 2009; Accepted 22 October 2009

Academic Editor: Clement Trovik

Copyright © 2009 Juan F. Abellan et al. 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.


Introduction. The aim of this study is to compare outcomes in three groups of STS patients treated in our specialist centre: patients referred immediately after an inadequate initial treatment, patients referred after a local recurrence, and patients referred directly, prior to any treatment. Patients and methods. We reviewed all our nonmetastatic extremity-STS patients with a minimum follow-up of 2 years. We compared three patient groups: those referred directly to our centre (group A), those referred after an inadequate initial excision (group B), and patients with local recurrence (group C). Results. The study included 174 patients. Disease-free survival was 73%, 76%, and 28% in groups A, B, and C, respectively ( ). Depth, size, and histologic grade influenced the outcome in groups A and B, but not in C. Conclusion. Initial wide surgical treatment is the main factor that determines local control, being even more important than the known intrinsic prognostic factors of tumour size, depth, and histologic grade. The influence on outcome of initial wide local excision (WLE), which is made possible by referral to a specialist centre, is paramount.