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UK guidelines for the management of soft tissue sarcomas.

Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are rare tumours arising in mesenchymal tissues and can occur almost anywhere in the body. Their rarity, and the heterogeneity of subtype and location, means that developing evidence-based guidelines is complicated by the limitations of the data available. This makes it more important that STS are managed by expert multidisciplinary teams, to ensure consistent and optimal treatment, recruitment to clinical trials, and the ongoing accumulation of further data and knowledge. The development of appropriate guidance, by an experienced panel referring to the evidence available, is therefore a useful foundation on which to build progress in the field. These guidelines are an update of the previous versions published in 2010 and 2016 [1, 2]. The original guidelines were drawn up by a panel of UK sarcoma specialists convened under the auspices of the British Sarcoma Group (BSG) and were intended to provide a framework for the multidisciplinary care of patients with soft tissue sarcomas. This iteration of the guidance, as well as updating the general multidisciplinary management of soft tissue sarcoma, includes specific sections relating to the management of sarcomas at defined anatomical sites: gynaecological sarcomas, retroperitoneal sarcomas, breast sarcomas, and skin sarcomas. These are generally managed collaboratively by site specific multidisciplinary teams linked to the regional sarcoma specialist team, as stipulated in the recently published sarcoma service specification [3]. In the UK, any patient with a suspected soft tissue sarcoma should be referred to a specialist regional soft tissues sarcoma service, to be managed by a specialist sarcoma multidisciplinary team. Once the diagnosis has been confirmed using appropriate imaging and a tissue biopsy, the main modality of management is usually surgical excision performed by a specialist surgeon, combined with pre- or post-operative radiotherapy for tumours at higher risk for local recurrence. Systemic anti-cancer therapy (SACT) may be utilised in cases where the histological subtype is considered more sensitive to systemic treatment. Regular follow-up is recommended to assess local control, development of metastatic disease, and any late effects of treatment.

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