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Volume 2016, Article ID 6032606, 7 pages
Research Article

A Comprehensive Single Institutional Review of 2 Years in a Designated Fast-Track Sarcoma Diagnostic Clinic Linked with a Sarcoma Specialist Advisory Group: Meeting the Target but Failing the Task?

1Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, UK
2The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Sarcoma SAG, Bristol Road, South Birmingham B31 2AP, UK
3University of Cambridge Department of Oncology and NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Box 277, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, UK

Received 19 March 2016; Accepted 8 May 2016

Academic Editor: Michelle Ghert

Copyright © 2016 Zoltan Szucs 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.


Background. National guidelines prompted the implementation of a designated two-week wait referral pathway to facilitate the early diagnosis of sarcomas, to improve treatment outcomes. Methods. Patients referred to the Cambridge Sarcoma Diagnostic Clinic between January 2013 and December 2014 were identified through the electronic appointments system. Information was retrospectively retrieved about patient characteristics and details of the diagnostic pathway. Results. 17.3% of patients referred (69/397) were diagnosed with a malignancy. Of these, 59.3% (41/69) had primary sarcomas, 17.4% (12/69) had metastatic cancer, and 23.2% (16/69) had a different primary malignancy. 15% of the 41 sarcomas were <5 cm, 34% in the 5–10 cm range, and 51% >10 cm. Sarcomas diagnosed through this clinic represented 13% (41/315) of sarcomas managed at the centre during the same 2 years. Conclusion. While we achieved the target of 10% (41/397) sarcoma diagnosis rate in the rapid access clinic, only 15% of these were <5 cm better prognosis lesions. This calls into question the “real world” impact of such diagnostic clinics on early diagnosis of sarcomas. In order to enhance generic cancer diagnostic skills, training in these diagnostic clinics could be usefully integrated into national training curricula for both surgical and nonsurgical oncologists.