JOURNAL ARTICLE
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[Retroperitoneal sarcomas: diagnostic and therapy].

BACKGROUND: Due to the fact that there are no distinct anatomical compartments, retroperitoneal sarcomas are moreover diagnosed with evidence of large tumors and infiltration of adjacent organs. In spite of improvement of the diagnostic facilities and surgical techniques, quite frequently local recurrences with unfavourable prognosis turn up even after complete removal. It was the aim of this study to analyze diagnosis, therapy and long-term prognosis in patients with retroperitoneal sarcomas over a period of 10 years.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Between January 1995 and January 2005, 379 patients underwent surgery for a primary retroperitoneal tumor at our clinic. Among the 67 (17.1 %) malignant lesions, a sarcoma was found in 35 patients. The present study is focused on the long-term prognosis of those 21 patients with a primary resected retroperitoneal sarcoma, recurrent sarcomas and exploratory laparotomies excluded.

RESULTS: The median patient age at the time of surgery was 61 (25-86) years, 57.1 % were males. The duration of symptoms was 3 (1-36) months. A pR0-resection was achieved in 20/21 patients. Among the histopathological tumor types, liposarcomas (n = 10) and leiomyosarcomas (n = 6) were found most frequently. Local recurrence developed in 12 out of 21 patients at 13.5 (5-42) months after the first operation, and in 4 patients distant metastases were observed. The long-term survival of all 21 patients with primary resected retroperitoneal sarcoma was 24 (1-101) months. A more favourable prognosis was seen in patients with leiomyosarcoma as compared with liposarcoma.

CONCLUSION: Retroperitoneal sarcomas are a heterogeneous entity, and they were found among our own patients in 6.1 % of all primary operatively treated retroperitoneal tumors. The strategy of treatment is complex and dependent on the stage, localization and histopathological characteristics. Long-term survival is limited as a result of the high rate of local recurrence.

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