Improved Biopsy Accuracy in Retroperitoneal Dedifferentiated Liposarcoma



Biopsy sensitivity in retroperitoneal dedifferentiated liposarcoma (DDLPS) is variable. Patients with grade 3 DDLPS face a significant risk of metastatic disease and may potentially benefit from neoadjuvant therapy, making highly accurate pretherapy diagnosis essential. Our study aimed to establish whether diagnostic sensitivity could be improved by targeting solid areas of tumor on percutaneous biopsy.


Between 2016 and 2019, data on patients with suspected primary retroperitoneal sarcoma who underwent a biopsy were collected, and diagnostic accuracy was calculated. These data were compared with our previously reported series from 2005 to 2016. For DDLPS tumors, comparisons were then made between biopsies that targeted the solid component and those that did not.


Data were available for 121 patients in the current series and 238 from the previous study. The proportion of biopsies returning a histological subtype concordant with postoperative pathology was 83% in the current series, marking a significant improvement over our previous study (67%, p = 0.001). For diagnosis of DDLPS, biopsy sensitivity improved from 40 to 74% (p < 0.001), with an increase from 13 to 50% (p = 0.006) where grade 3 DDLPS was treated as a separate disease. Within the current series, targeted biopsy yielded a sensitivity of 100% for identifying DDLPS, compared with 10% in nontargeted biopsy (p < 0.001).


Systematic targeting of solid areas of tumor within suspected retroperitoneal liposarcoma has improved sensitivity for detection of both DDLPS and grade 3 DDLPS on biopsy. This approach minimizes the risk of underdiagnosis of patients with DDLPS who could benefit from neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

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Correspondence to Marco Fiore MD.

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Tirotta, F., Morosi, C., Hodson, J. et al. Improved Biopsy Accuracy in Retroperitoneal Dedifferentiated Liposarcoma. Ann Surg Oncol 27, 4574–4581 (2020).

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