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Basic Knowledge in Soft Tissue Sarcoma


Sarcoma is rare and heterogenous with various subtypes having a different prognostic. Desmoid is a tumour with a local aggressiveness; GIST with KIT mutation responds massively to target treatment as IMATINIB, whereas soft tissue sarcoma and leiomyosarcoma are very aggressive with poor response to systemic therapies. Interventional radiology plays an important role in the diagnosis of sarcomas with image-guided percutaneous core needle biopsy being the most commonly used biopsy technique in the diagnosis of sarcomas. Biopsy access routes discussed with the surgeon, and skin access is tattooed. Surgery is a mainstay of sarcoma treatment; the resection can be large. Indeed, resection objective is R0 because quality of surgical margins impacts local control and survival. Radiotherapy is possible in neoadjuvant or in adjuvant treatment to improve local control rate. Recently radiotherapy enhancer injected percutaneously in soft tissue sarcoma has proven benefit in increasing the rate of R0 complete surgical resection. Several studies showed better local control rate linked with post-operative radiotherapy. In patients affected by oligometastatic disease, complete surgical resection of all metastatic sites is in fact considered the primary treatment because complete remission is critical for cure. The decision making to use local therapies is complex, depends upon diverse presentations and histologies, and should always be taken in a multidisciplinary discussion. Today, percutaneous image-guided treatments with ablation technologies (radiofrequency ablation, cryotherapy, microwaves ablation) provide high rate of durable local control for small-sized malignant deposit in many organs including lung, liver and bones. Sarcoma must be managed by multimodality treatment in expert reference centres. Such management has a considerable impact on the prognosis.

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Correspondence to Thierry de Baere.

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Bourcier, K., Le Cesne, A., Tselikas, L. et al. Basic Knowledge in Soft Tissue Sarcoma. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 42, 1255–1261 (2019).

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  • Sarcoma
  • Soft tissue sarcoma
  • Stromal tumor
  • Interventional oncology