Long-term survival after radical operations for cancer treatment-induced sarcomas: How two survivors invite reflection on oncologic treatment concepts

Roderich E. Schwarz, Georg Hillebrand, Elizabeth A. Peralta, David Z J Chu, Lawrence M. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Extent and radicality of surgical oncologic treatment has changed in the past 30 years. Two patients with node-positive breast cancer are presented, who underwent (total or radical) mastectomy with lymphadenectomy and postoperative radiation 24 and 40 years ago. A radiation-associated sarcoma of the parascapular soft tissue developed in one patient 9 years after treatment; the other one sought treatment for a lymphedema-associated Stewart-Treves lymphangiosarcoma 16 years after initial therapy. Both patients underwent a forequarter amputation for their treatment-associated high-grade sarcoma. Both are currently alive and cancer-free 15 and 24 years after amputation. These reports remind us that radical locoregional treatment can cure some solid cancers in the absence of systemic therapy; that such extensive treatment may induce significant disability or secondary malignancies long-term; that even advanced treatment-associated sarcomas can be cured with aggressive resection; that today's multimodality therapy approaches and appropriate patient selection have rendered such extensive locoregional treatment for many tumors obsolete or unnecessary; and that if no effective alternative treatment exists and organ or limb preservation is not feasible, an aggressive resection approach for high-grade cancer should not be discounted unless systemic failure is certain or imminent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-247
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 18 2002



  • Radical resections
  • Sarcomas, treatment-induced

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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