The main objectives of this study were (a) to review the treatment results of primary head and neck soft-tissue sarcoma at our institution, (b) to identify important prognostic factors in local control and survival, and (c) to assess the efficacy of salvage therapy.Sixty-five patients were treated at the University of California, San Francisco, between 1961 and 1993. Seventeen patients (27%) had low-grade, 10 (15%) had intermediate-grade, and 38 (58%) had high-grade sarcomas. Tumors were > 5 cm in 35 patients. Local management consisted of surgery alone in 14 patients (22%), surgery and radiotherapy in 40 (61%), and radiotherapy alone in 11 (17%) patients. The median follow-up was 64 months.The 5-year actuarial local control rate of the entire group was 66%. Tumor size and grade were important predictors for local control on multivariate analysis. The actuarial local control rate at 5 years was 92% for T1 vs. 40% for T2 primaries (p = 0.004), and 80% for Grade 1-2 vs. 48% for Grade 3 tumors (p = 0.01). None of the patients treated with radiotherapy alone with a dose of 50-65 Gy were controlled locally. Combined radiotherapy and surgery appeared to yield superior local control compared to surgery alone (77% vs. 59%); however, the difference was not statistically significant. The 5-year actuarial overall and cause-specific survivals were 56% and 60%, respectively. Unfavorable prognostic factors for cause-specific survival on multivariate analysis were age > 55 (p = 0.009), high tumor grade (p = 0.0002), inadequate surgery (p = 0.008), and positive surgical margins (p = 0.0009). In patients who underwent salvage therapy for treatment failure, the 5-year actuarial survival after salvage treatment was 26%.Tumor size and grade were important predictors for local control. Age, grade, adequacy of surgery, and status of surgical margins were significant prognostic factors for survival. There was a trend of improved local control with combined surgery and radiotherapy compared to either modality alone for high-risk patients. Radiotherapy alone with doses < or = 65 Gy was insufficient for control of gross disease. Aggressive salvage therapy was worthwhile in patients whose disease was uncontrolled after the initial treatment.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997XB01200002
View details for PubMedID 9169803