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01.05.2014 | short review | Ausgabe 2/2014 Open Access

memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology 2/2014

Follow-up in soft tissue sarcomas

memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology > Ausgabe 2/2014
MD, PhD Piotr Rutkowski, MD, PhD Iwona Ługowska


The strategy for the follow-up of soft tissue sarcomas (STS) after therapy is tailored to the individual risk of recurrence and based on efficient rather than sophisticated methods of observation. Along with advances in the treatment of sarcomas, earlier detection of a less advanced and resectable recurrent disease (local or metastasis—especially to the lungs) can prolong patient survival. Since the majority of STS relapses occur within 5 years after treatment (approximately 80 % of metastases to the lung and close to 70 % of local recurrences within the first 2–3 years), in the period between 2 and 3 years after treatment, it is mandatory to follow-up patients every 3 months and perform careful history and physical examination (especially scars after surgery of the primary site) and a chest X-ray. There is no reason to perform other studies in asymptomatic patients (unless the patient reports symptoms). In case of retroperitoneal or intraperitoneal STS (including gastrointestinal stromal tumor), contrast-enhanced computed tomography of the abdomen and pelvis is recommended as the follow-up modality of choice. In this paper we outline the current recommendations for the follow-up strategy.

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