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About Sarcoma  > Sarcoma FAQ

About Sarcoma

HOW DO PATIENTS GET FOLLOWED UP?

There are no published data to indicate the optimal routine follow up policy of surgically treated patients with localized disease.

The malignancy grade affects the likelyhood and speed at which relapses takes place. The risk assessment based on tumour grade, size and tumour site therefore helps in choosing a routine follow-up policy. Tumours less than 5cm have a much better prognosis, and hence the importance of EARLY diagnosis and intervention.

High risk patients generally relapse within 2-3 years, while low risk patients may relapse later, although it is less likely. Relapses most often occur in the lungs for soft tissue sarcomas, and not necessarily at the primary site.

Early detection of local or metastatic recurrence to the lungs may have prognostic implications, since lung metastases are generally asymptomatic at a stage in which they are suitable for surgery. Routine follow up therefore focus on these sites. MRI is generally use to follow up local relapse and CT scan for lung metastases.

A practical approach in several institutions is as follows: The surgically treated intermediate/ -high grade patient may be followed up every 3-4 months in the 2-3 years, then twice a year up to the fifth year and once a year thereafter. Low -grade sarcoma patients may be followed for local relapse every 4-6 months, with chest X-rays or CT scan at more relaxed intervals in the first 3-5 years, then yearly.

REFERENCES:

P.C.W. HOGENDORN (on the behalf of the ESMO/ EUROBONET working group). Bone sarcomas:ESMO; Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Annals of oncology 21 (supplement 5); v 198-v203, 2010

P.G.Casali and J.Y. Blay (On the behalf of the ESMO/ CONTICANET/ EUROBONET consensus Panel of Experts; Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Annals of oncology 21 (supplement 5); v 198-v203, 2010

NOTE: The clinical Practice guidelines have been developed following a consensus based on a consensus event organized by the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Lugano in 2009. This involved experts from the European sarcoma research groups, sarcoma networks of excellence and ESMO Faculty. CONTICANET (Connective Tissue Cancers NETwork) and EURONET (EuRopean Bone NETwork) also financially supported the consensus process.

LINKS:

Australasian Sarcoma Study Group website: www.australiansarcomagroup.org
www.team-sarcoma.net