Pathophysiology: A soft-tissue sarcoma is a form of sarcoma that develops in connective tissue, though the term is sometimes applied to elements of the soft tissue that are not currently considered connective tissue.
Symptoms: In their early stages, soft-tissue sarcomas usually do not cause symptoms. Because soft tissue is relatively elastic, tumors can grow rather large, pushing aside normal tissue, before they are felt or cause any problems. The first noticeable symptom is usually a painless lump or swelling. As the tumor grows, it may cause other symptoms, such as pain or soreness, as it presses against nearby nerves and muscles.
Treatment: The stage of the sarcoma is based on the size and grade of the tumor, and whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body (metastasized). Treatment options for soft-tissue sarcomas include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Surgery is the most common treatment for soft-tissue sarcomas. It is important to obtain a margin free of tumor to decrease the likelihood of local recurrence and give the best chance for eradication of the tumor.
Statistics: A total of 160 patients who had been treated for STS of the upper extremities were retrospectively included. Independent prognostic factors were analyzed (primary versus recurrent tumor, tumor size, resection status, grade of malignancy, additional therapy, localization in the upper extremity). Kaplan-Meier analyses for survival rate and local control were calculated. Further outcome measures were functional results validated by the DASH score and rate of amputation. In 130 patients (81%) wide tumor excision (R0) was performed and in 19 patients (12%) an amputation was necessary. The 5-year overall survival rate was 70% and the 5-year survival rate in primary tumors was 81% whereas in recurrences 55% relapsed locally. The 10-year overall survival rate was 45% and the 5-year recurrence rate was 18% for primary STS and 43% for recurrent STS. Variance analysis revealed primary versus recurrent tumor, tumor size, resection status and grade of malignancy as independent prognostic factors. Analysis of functional r esults showed a median DASH score of 37.