Complete pathological response is prognostic for survival in STS

Eur J Surg Oncol, 2021, Bonvalot S. et al.


Sylvie Bonvalot1, Jay Wunder2, Alessandro Gronchi3, Javier Martin Broto4, Robert Turcotte5, Marco Rastrelli6, Zsuzsanna Papai7, Stefano Radaelli3, Lars H. Lindner8, Felix Shumelinsky9, Antonio Cubillo10, Piotr Rutkowski11, Clementine Demaire12, Danielle Strens12, Georgi Nalbantov12

1 – Department of Surgery, Institut Curie, Paris University, Paris, France
2 – Department of Surgery, Sinai Health System, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
3 – Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Dei Tumori, Milan, Italy
4 – Department of Medical Oncology, Hospital Virgen Del Rocio, And Institute of Biomedicine of Sevilla (IBIS) (HUVR, CSIC, University of Sevilla), Sevilla, Spain
5 – Department of Surgery, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
6 – Department of Surgical Oncology, Istituto Oncologico Veneto, Padova, Italy
7 – Department of Oncology, Honved Hospital – Hungarian Defence Forces Military Hospital, Budapest, Hungary
8 – Department of Medicine III, University Hospital, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany
9 – Department of Surgery – Bone and Connective Tissue Tumour Surgery, Jules Bordet Institute, Brussels, Belgium
10 – Department of Medical Oncology, Hospital Universitario Sanchinarro, Centro Integral Oncologico Clara Campal HM CIOCC, Madrid, Spain
11 – Department of Soft Tissue/Bone Sarcoma and Melanoma, Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland
12 – Health Economics & Outcome Research Team, Monitor Deloitte, Zaventem, Belgium


Background: Locally advanced soft tissue sarcoma (STS) management may include neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment by radiotherapy (RT), chemotherapy (CT) or chemoradiotherapy (CRT) followed by wide surgical excision. While pathological complete response (pCR) to preoperative treatment is prognostic for survival in osteosarcomas, its significance for STS is unclear. We aimed to evaluate the prognostic significance of pCR to pre-operative treatment on 3-year disease-free survival (3y-DFS) in STS patients.

Methods: This is an observational, retrospective, international, study of adult patients with primary non-metastatic STS of the extremities and trunk wall, any grade, diagnosed between 2008 and 2012, treated with at least neoadjuvant treatment and surgical resection and observed for a minimum of 3 years after diagnosis. The primary objective was to evaluate the effect of pCR. (≤5% viable tumor cells or ≥95% necrosis/fibrosis) on 3y-DFS. Effect on local recurrence-free survival (LRFS), distant recurrence-free survival (MFS) overall survival (OS) at 3 years was also analyzed. Statistical univariate analysis utilized chi-square independence test and odds ratio confidence interval (CI) estimate, multivariate analysis was performed using LASSO.

Results: A total of 330 patients (median age 56 years old, range:19–95) treated by preoperative RT (67%), CT (15%) or CRT (18%) followed by surgery were included. pCR was achieved in 74/330 (22%) of patients, of which 56/74 (76%) had received RT. 3-yr DFS was observed in 76% of patients with pCR vs 61% without pCR (p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that pCR is statistically associated with better MFS (95% CI, 1.054–3.417; p = 0.033), LRFS (95% CI, 1.226–5.916; p = 0.014), DFS (95% CI, 1.165–4.040; p = 0.015) and OS at 3 years (95% CI, 1.072–5.210; p = 0.033).

Conclusions: In a wide, heterogeneous STS population we showed that pCR to preoperative treatment is prognostic for survival.

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