Publications by authors named "Alessandro Gronchi"

320 Publications

Surgery in soft tissue sarcoma: the thin line between a surgical or more conservative approach.

Future Oncol 2021 Jun 10. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Surgery, IRCCS, Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Via Venezian 1, 20133, Milan, Italy.

Surgery is the primary treatment for localized, clinically resectable soft tissue sarcoma (STS). Chemotherapy and radiotherapy, administered in the pre- or post-operative settings, have important ancillary roles in the multimodal management of primary STS. Some sarcoma centers also employ locoregional therapies such as isolated limb perfusion and deep wave hyperthermia in multimodal therapy. In advanced or metastatic STS, surgery is recommended when complete resection is feasible. Nevertheless, in certain situations there is thin line between a surgical or non-surgical approach, generally related to STS histological type/subtype, disease stage and technical considerations. In advanced STS, factors favoring surgery are isolated oligometastatic disease, long disease-free interval, suitable histology, response to chemotherapy and high probability of a complete resection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2021-0449DOI Listing
June 2021

Magnetic resonance imaging patterns of tumor response to chemotherapy in desmoid-type fibromatosis.

Cancer Med 2021 Jun 8. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Medical Oncology Unit 2, Medical Oncology Department, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: We aimed to investigate changes in volume and MRI T2-weighted intensity in desmoid-type fibromatosis (DF) receiving methotrexate plus vinca-alkaloids (MTX-VA) at Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan.

Methods: All cases of sporadic DF treated with MTX-VA from 1999 to 2019 were reviewed. MRIs at baseline, 6 and 12 months of chemotherapy and at treatment withdrawal were retrospectively reviewed, contouring the tumor lesion and measuring diameters, volume, and mean T2-signal intensity (normalized to muscle) changes. These parameters were also evaluated according to clinical variables.

Results: Thirty-two DF patients were identified. Best RECIST response was: 25% partial response, 69% stable disease, 6% progression. A ≥65% tumor volume reduction was observed in 38%, <65% reduction in 53%, an increase in 9%. 22% had RECIST stable disease with a ≥65% tumor volume reduction. T2-signal intensity decreased by ≥50% in 47%, <50% in 41% and increased in 12%. In patients with symptomatic improvement while on therapy and in patients maintaining symptomatic improvement during follow-up, median T2-signal intensity showed a reduction along the time points (3.0, 1.9, 1.2, 1.1; 2.9, 2.0, 1.2, 1.2, respectively); in patients without symptomatic improvement and in those clinically progressing during follow-up, a reduction was not observed. High T2-signal intensity at baseline was observed in patients showing RECIST progression during follow-up.

Conclusions: In this series, RECIST detected a lower proportion of responses as compared to volumetric and T2-signal changes. T2-signal reduction seemed to better reflect symptomatic improvement. High T2-signal intensity at baseline was related to a higher proportion of further progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.3973DOI Listing
June 2021

ASO Author Reflections: Selecting Patients for Recurrent Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Surgery: The Challenging Trade-Off Between Oncologic Outcome and Morbidity.

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

Department of Surgery, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-021-10067-1DOI Listing
May 2021

Ultra-rare sarcomas: A consensus paper from the Connective Tissue Oncology Society community of experts on the incidence threshold and the list of entities.

Cancer 2021 Apr 28. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Department of Epidemiology, Regional Health Council, Biomedical Research Institute of Murcia-Arrixaca, Murcia University, Murcia, Spain.

Background: Among sarcomas, which are rare cancers, many types are exceedingly rare; however, a definition of ultra-rare cancers has not been established. The problem of ultra-rare sarcomas is particularly relevant because they represent unique diseases, and their rarity poses major challenges for diagnosis, understanding disease biology, generating clinical evidence to support new drug development, and achieving formal authorization for novel therapies.

Methods: The Connective Tissue Oncology Society promoted a consensus effort in November 2019 to establish how to define ultra-rare sarcomas through expert consensus and epidemiologic data and to work out a comprehensive list of these diseases. The list of ultra-rare sarcomas was based on the 2020 World Health Organization classification, The incidence rates were estimated using the Information Network on Rare Cancers (RARECARENet) database and NETSARC (the French Sarcoma Network's clinical-pathologic registry). Incidence rates were further validated in collaboration with the Asian cancer registries of Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.

Results: It was agreed that the best criterion for a definition of ultra-rare sarcomas would be incidence. Ultra-rare sarcomas were defined as those with an incidence of approximately ≤1 per 1,000,000, to include those entities whose rarity renders them extremely difficult to conduct well powered, prospective clinical studies. On the basis of this threshold, a list of ultra-rare sarcomas was defined, which comprised 56 soft tissue sarcoma types and 21 bone sarcoma types.

Conclusions: Altogether, the incidence of ultra-rare sarcomas accounts for roughly 20% of all soft tissue and bone sarcomas. This confirms that the challenges inherent in ultra-rare sarcomas affect large numbers of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33618DOI Listing
April 2021

Analysis of Differentiation Changes and Outcomes at Time of First Recurrence of Retroperitoneal Liposarcoma by Transatlantic Australasian Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Working Group (TARPSWG).

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Apr 27. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Department of Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, USA.

Background: Local recurrence following resection of retroperitoneal liposarcoma (RLPS) is common. Well-differentiated (WD) and dedifferentiated (DD) RLPS are distinct entities with differing outcomes. A few reports suggest that WDLPS can recur as DDLPS and that DDLPS can recur as WDLPS. This study evaluates whether this change in differentiation from the primary tumor to the first local recurrence impacts long-term outcomes.

Methods: Retrospective review from 22 sarcoma centers identified consecutive patients who underwent resection for a first locally recurrent RLPS from January 2002 to December 2011. Outcomes measured included overall survival, local recurrence, and distant metastasis.

Results: A total of 421 RPLS patients were identified. Of the 230 patients with primary DDLPS, 34 (15%) presented WDLPS upon recurrence (DD → WD); and of the 191 patients with primary WDLPS, 54 (28%) presented DDLPS upon recurrence (WD → DD). The 6-year overall survival probabilities (95% CI) for DD → DD, DD → WD, WD → WD, and WD → DD were 40% (32-48%), 73% (58-92%), 76% (68-85%), and 56% (43-73%) (p < 0.001), respectively. The 6-year second local recurrence incidence was 66% (59-73%), 63% (48-82%), 66% (57-76%), and 77% (66-90%), respectively. The 6-year distant metastasis incidence was 13% (9-19%), 3% (0.4-22%), 5% (2-11%), and 4% (1-16%), respectively. On multivariable analysis, DD → WD was associated with improved overall survival when compared with DD → DD (p < 0.001). Moreover, WD → DD was associated with a higher risk of LR (p = 0.025) CONCLUSION: A change in RLPS differentiation from primary tumor to first local recurrence appears to impact survival. These findings may be useful in counseling patients on their prognosis and subsequent management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-021-10024-yDOI Listing
April 2021

Clinicopathological features and treatment outcome of oesophageal gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST): A large, retrospective multicenter European study.

Eur J Surg Oncol 2021 Mar 31. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Surgical Oncology, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek - Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Department of Surgical Oncology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands; European School of Soft Tissue Sarcoma Surgery, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Background: Oesophageal gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) account for ≤1% of all GISTs. Consequently, evidence to guide clinical decision-making is limited.

Methods: Clinicopathological features and outcomes in patients with primary oesophageal GIST from seven European countries were collected retrospectively.

Results: Eighty-three patients were identified, and median follow up was 55.0 months. At diagnosis, 59.0% had localized disease, 25.3% locally advanced and 13.3% synchronous metastasis. A biopsy (Fine Needle aspiration n = 29, histological biopsy n = 31) was performed in 60 (72.3%) patients. The mitotic count was low (<5 mitoses/50 High Power Fields (HPF)) in 24 patients and high (≥5 mitoses/50 HPF) in 27 patients. Fifty-one (61.4%) patients underwent surgical or endoscopic resection. The most common reasons to not perform an immediate resection (n = 31) were; unresectable or metastasized GIST, performance status/comorbidity, patient refusal or ongoing neo-adjuvant therapy. The type of resections were enucleation (n = 11), segmental resection (n = 6) and oesophagectomy with gastric conduit reconstruction (n = 33), with median tumour size of 3.3 cm, 4.5 cm and 7.7 cm, respectively. In patients treated with enucleation 18.2% developed recurrent disease. The recurrence rate in patients treated with segmental resection was 16.7% and in patients undergoing oesophagectomy with gastric conduit reconstruction 36.4%. Larger tumours (≥4.0 cm) and high (>5/5hpf) mitotic count were associated with worse disease free survival.

Conclusion: Based on the current study, enucleation can be recommended for oesophageal GIST smaller than 4 cm, while oesophagectomy should be preserved for larger tumours. Patients with larger tumours (>4 cm) and/or high mitotic count should be treated with adjuvant therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejso.2021.03.234DOI Listing
March 2021

Retroperitoneal sarcoma: the Transatlantic Australasian Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Working Group Program.

Curr Opin Oncol 2021 Jul;33(4):301-308

Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Purpose Of Review: The Transatlantic Australasian Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Working Group (TARPSWG) is a bottom-up clinical network established in 2013 with the goal of improving the care and outcomes of patients with retroperitoneal sarcoma (RPS). Here, we review the knowledge produced by this collaborative effort and examine the future potential of this group.

Recent Findings: TARPSWG has produced retrospective studies focused on patients with primary and recurrent RPS allowing a better understanding of patient prognosis, treatment outcomes and tumor biology. The group has played a pivotal role in a phase III randomized STudy of preoperative RAdiotherapy plus Surgery versus surgery alone for patients with Retroperitoneal Sarcoma (STRASS) trial, favoring patient recruitment and trial completion. A prospective registry for patients with primary RPS populated by TARPSWG members is ongoing. TARPSWG has created consensus papers with recommendations regarding the management of patients with primary, recurrent and metastatic RPS that collated the views of representatives of sarcoma centers from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

Summary: Since its inception, TARPSWG has become a leading network in the field of RPS. It has made a major contribution to the world of RPS research and cares allowing to overcome the limitations related to the rarity of the disease through collaboration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CCO.0000000000000746DOI Listing
July 2021

Management of Primary Retroperitoneal Sarcoma (RPS) in the Adult: An Updated Consensus Approach from the Transatlantic Australasian RPS Working Group.

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Apr 14. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Retroperitoneal soft tissue sarcomas comprise a heterogeneous group of rare tumors of mesenchymal origin that include several well-defined histologic subtypes. In 2015, the Transatlantic Australasian RPS Working Group (TARPSWG) published consensus recommendations for the best management of primary retroperitoneal sarcoma (RPS). Since then, through international collaboration, new evidence and knowledge have been generated, creating the need for an updated consensus document.

Methods: The primary aim of this study was to critically evaluate the current evidence and develop an up-to-date consensus document on the approach to these difficult tumors. The resulting document applies to primary RPS that is non-visceral in origin, with exclusion criteria as previously described. The relevant literature was evaluated and an international group of experts consulted to formulate consensus statements regarding the best management of primary RPS. A level of evidence and grade of recommendation were attributed to each new/updated recommendation.

Results: Management of primary RPS was considered from diagnosis to follow-up. This rare and complex malignancy is best managed by an experienced multidisciplinary team in a specialized referral center. The best chance of cure is at the time of primary presentation, and an individualized management plan should be made based on the 29 consensus statements included in this article, which were agreed upon by all of the authors. Whenever possible, patients should be enrolled in prospective trials and studies.

Conclusions: Ongoing international collaboration is critical to expand upon current knowledge and further improve outcomes of patients with RPS. In addition, prospective data collection and participation in multi-institution trials are strongly encouraged.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-021-09654-zDOI Listing
April 2021

Major vascular resection in retroperitoneal sarcoma surgery.

Surgery 2021 Mar 31. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Sarcoma Service, Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Major blood vessels may be invaded either by primary sarcomas arising from the vessel wall or by secondary infiltration of a retroperitoneal sarcoma. The involvement of major blood vessels is not considered to be an absolute contraindication for surgical resection. The main issue when evaluating a possible major vascular resection is to balance the possible surgical morbidity with the expected survival benefit. This is strictly related to the tumor's biology and clinical behavior and to the patient's performance status and comorbidities. A multidisciplinary approach in a specialized center is mandatory when approaching a possible oncovascular resection for retroperitoneal sarcoma, given the rarity and the heterogeneity of these tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2021.02.052DOI Listing
March 2021

Impact of Pathological Stratification on the Clinical Outcomes of Advanced Well-Differentiated/Dedifferentiated Liposarcoma Treated with Trabectedin.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Mar 22;13(6). Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Adult Mesenchymal Tumour Medical Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, 20133 Milan, Italy.

Background: We previously showed that grading can prognosticate the outcome of retroperitoneal liposarcoma (LPS). In the present study, we aimed to explore the impact of pathological stratification using grading on the clinical outcomes of patients with advanced well-differentiated LPS (WDLPS) and dedifferentiated LPS (DDLPS) treated with trabectedin.

Patients: We included patients with advanced WDLPS and DDLPS treated with trabectedin at the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori between April 2003 and November 2019. Tumors were categorized in WDLPS, low-grade DDLPS, and high-grade DDLPS according to the 2020 WHO classification. Patients were divided in two cohorts: Low-grade (WDLPS/low-grade DDLPS) and high-grade (high-grade DDLPS).

Results: A total of 49 patients were included: 17 (35%) in the low-grade cohort and 32 (65%) in the high-grade cohort. Response rate was 47% in the low-grade cohort versus 9.4% in the high-grade cohort (logistic regression = 0.006). Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 13.7 months in the low-grade cohort and 3.2 months in the high-grade cohort. Grading was confirmed as an independent predictor of PFS in the Cox proportional-hazards regression multivariable model (adjusted hazard ratio low-grade vs. high-grade: 0.45, 95% confidence interval: 0.22-0.94; adjusted = 0.035).

Conclusions: In this retrospective case series, sensitivity to trabectedin was higher in WDLPS/low-grade DDLPS than in high-grade DDLPS. If confirmed in larger series, grading could represent an effective tool to personalize the treatment with trabectedin in patients with advanced LPS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13061453DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8005098PMC
March 2021

Morbidity and Outcomes After Distal Pancreatectomy for Primary Retroperitoneal Sarcoma: An Analysis by the Trans-Atlantic Australasian Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Working Group.

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Mar 19. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Surgical Oncology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Background: Multi-visceral resection often is used in the treatment of retroperitoneal sarcoma (RPS). The morbidity after distal pancreatectomy for primary pancreatic cancer is well-documented, but the outcomes after distal pancreatectomy for primary RPS are not. This study aimed to evaluate morbidity and oncologic outcomes after distal pancreatectomy for primary RPS.

Methods: In this study, 26 sarcoma centers that are members of the Trans-Atlantic Australasian Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Working Group (TARPSWG) retrospectively identified consecutive patients who underwent distal pancreatectomy for primary RPS from 2008 to 2017. The outcomes measured were 90-day severe complications (Clavien-Dindo ≥ 3), postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) rate, and oncologic outcomes.

Results: Between 2008 and 2017, 280 patients underwent distal pancreatectomy for primary RPS. The median tumor size was 25 cm, and the median number of organs resected, including the pancreas, was three. In 96% of the operations, R0/R1 resection was achieved. The 90-day severe complication rate was 40 %. The grades B and C POPF complication rates were respectively 19% and 5% and not associated with worse overall survival. Administration of preoperative radiation and factors to mitigate POPF did not have an impact on the risk for the development of a POPF. The RPS invaded the pancreas in 38% of the patients, and local recurrence was doubled for the patients who had a microscopic, positive pancreas margin (hazard ratio, 2.0; p = 0.042).

Conclusion: Distal pancreatectomy for primary RPS has acceptable morbidity and oncologic outcomes and is a reasonable approach to facilitate complete tumor resection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-021-09739-9DOI Listing
March 2021

Complete pathological response to neoadjuvant treatment is associated with better survival outcomes in patients with soft tissue sarcoma: Results of a retrospective multicenter study.

Eur J Surg Oncol 2021 Feb 26. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Health Economics & Outcome Research Team, Monitor Deloitte, Zaventem, Belgium.

Background: Locally advanced soft tissue sarcoma (STS) management may include neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment by radiotherapy (RT), chemotherapy (CT) or chemoradiotherapy (CRT) followed by wide surgical excision. While pathological complete response (pCR) to preoperative treatment is prognostic for survival in osteosarcomas, its significance for STS is unclear. We aimed to evaluate the prognostic significance of pCR to pre-operative treatment on 3-year disease-free survival (3y-DFS) in STS patients.

Methods: This is an observational, retrospective, international, study of adult patients with primary non-metastatic STS of the extremities and trunk wall, any grade, diagnosed between 2008 and 2012, treated with at least neoadjuvant treatment and surgical resection and observed for a minimum of 3 years after diagnosis. The primary objective was to evaluate the effect of pCR. (≤5% viable tumor cells or ≥95% necrosis/fibrosis) on 3y-DFS. Effect on local recurrence-free survival (LRFS), distant recurrence-free survival (MFS) overall survival (OS) at 3 years was also analyzed. Statistical univariate analysis utilized chi-square independence test and odds ratio confidence interval (CI) estimate, multivariate analysis was performed using LASSO.

Results: A total of 330 patients (median age 56 years old, range:19-95) treated by preoperative RT (67%), CT (15%) or CRT (18%) followed by surgery were included. pCR was achieved in 74/330 (22%) of patients, of which 56/74 (76%) had received RT. 3-yr DFS was observed in 76% of patients with pCR vs 61% without pCR (p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that pCR is statistically associated with better MFS (95% CI, 1.054-3.417; p = 0.033), LRFS (95% CI, 1.226-5.916; p = 0.014), DFS (95% CI, 1.165-4.040; p = 0.015) and OS at 3 years (95% CI, 1.072-5.210; p = 0.033).

Conclusions: In a wide, heterogeneous STS population we showed that pCR to preoperative treatment is prognostic for survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejso.2021.02.024DOI Listing
February 2021

Selinexor versus doxorubicin in dedifferentiated liposarcoma PDXs: evidence of greater activity and apoptotic response dependent on p53 nuclear accumulation and survivin down-regulation.

J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2021 Mar 1;40(1):83. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Molecular Pharmacology Unit, Department of Applied Research and Technological Development, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Via Amadeo 42, 20133, Milan, Italy.

Background: Dedifferentiated liposarcoma (DDLPS), a tumor that lacks effective treatment strategies and is associated with poor outcomes, expresses amplified MDM2 in the presence of wild-type p53. MDM2 ubiquitination of p53 facilitates its XPO1-mediated nuclear export, thus limiting p53 tumor suppressor functions. Consequently, nuclear export is a rational target in DDLPS. We directly compared the antitumor activity of the first-in class XPO1 inhibitor selinexor and doxorubicin, the standard front-line therapy in sarcomas, in DDLPS patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) and primary cell lines.

Methods: Drug activity was assessed in three PDXs (and two corresponding cell lines) established from the dedifferentiated component of primary untreated retroperitoneal DDLPS with myogenic (N = 2) and rhabdomyoblastic (N = 1) differentiation from patients who underwent surgery. These models were marked by amplification of MDM2, CDK4 and HMGA2 genes.

Results: Selinexor was moderately active in the three PDXs but achieved greater tumor response compared to doxorubicin (maximum tumor volume inhibition: 46-80 % vs. 37-60 %). The PDX harboring rhabdomyoblastic dedifferentiation showed the highest sensitivity to both agents. PDX response to selinexor and doxorubicin was not associated with the extent of MDM2 and CDK4 gene amplification. Interestingly, the most chemosensitive PDX model showed the lowest extent of HMGA2 amplification. Selinexor was also more efficient than doxorubicinin in inducing an apoptotic response in PDXs and cell lines. Consistently, an increased nuclear accumulation of p53 was seen in all selinexor-treated models. In addition, a time-dependent decrease of survivin expression, with an almost complete abrogation of the cytoplasmic anti-apoptotic pool of this protein, was observed as a consequence of the decreased acetylation/activation of STAT3 and the increased ubiquitination of nuclear survivin.

Conclusions: Selinexor showed a moderate antitumor activity in three DDLPS PDXs, which was, however, consistently higher than doxorubicin across all different models regardless the extent of MDM2 amplification and the histological differentiation. The depletion of survivin protein seems to significantly contribute to the induction of apoptosis through which selinexor exerts its antitumor activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13046-021-01886-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7923610PMC
March 2021

Distal Pancreatectomy for Primary Retroperitoneal Sarcoma-Clinical Implications and Future Directions.

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Feb 26. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-021-09766-6DOI Listing
February 2021

ASO Author Reflections: Reexcision after Macroscopically Complete Unplanned Excision in Extremity and Trunk Wall Soft Tissue Sarcoma: Is Less More?

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Jan 29. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-021-09632-5DOI Listing
January 2021

Unplanned Excision of Extremity and Trunk Wall Soft Tissue Sarcoma: To Re-resect or Not to Re-resect?

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Jan 28. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Purpose: The need for systematic reexcision in patients who underwent unplanned excision (UE) for extremity and superficial trunk soft tissue sarcoma (ESTSTS) has been questioned. We investigated the outcome of patients who underwent reexcision for ESTSTS compared with primarily resected at our institution and the prognostic impact of microscopic residual disease (MR) in the reexcision specimen.

Methods: Primary ESTSTS patients surgically treated at our institution between 1997 and 2017 were divided in three groups: primarily resected (A), reexcised after macroscopically complete UE (B), and incomplete UE (C). Weighted overall survival (OS), crude cumulative incidence of local relapse (CCI-LR), and distant metastasis (CCI-DM) were calculated and compared. In group B, multivariable models were performed to assess factors associated with the outcomes.

Results: A total of 1962 patients were identified: 1076, 697 and 189 in groups A, B, and C, respectively. Overall median follow-up was 85 months. Seven-year weighted-OS was 73.8%, 84.1%, and 80.7% (p < 0.001) for groups A, B, and C respectively. Seven-year CCI-LR and DM were 5.0% and 25.3%, 12.1% and 15.8%, and 13.6% and 29.4% (both p < 0.001) for groups A, B, and C, respectively. At multivariable analysis, the presence MR was associated with LR (p < 0.001) but not with OS nor CCI-DM.

Conclusions: UE and the presence of MR at pathology in reexcision specimen are associated to a higher risk of LR but not to a higher risk of DM or lower OS. After macroscopic complete UE, postponing reexcision until a LR occurs may be considered on an individualized basis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-020-09564-6DOI Listing
January 2021

Postoperative Morbidity After Resection of Recurrent Retroperitoneal Sarcoma: A Report from the Transatlantic Australasian RPS Working Group (TARPSWG).

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 May 2;28(5):2705-2714. Epub 2021 Jan 2.

Department of Surgery, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel-Aviv, Israel.

Background: This study aimed to evaluate perioperative morbidity after surgery for first locally recurrent (LR1) retroperitoneal sarcoma (RPS). Data concerning the safety of resecting recurrent RPS are lacking.

Methods: Data were collected on all patients undergoing resection of RPS-LR1 at 22 Trans-Atlantic Australasian Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Working Group (TARPSWG) centers from 2002 to 2011. Uni- and multivariable logistic models were fitted to study the association between major (Clavien-Dindo grade ≥ 3) complications and patient/surgery characteristics as well as outcome. The resected organ score, a method of standardizing the number of organs resected, as previously described by the TARPSWG, was used.

Results: The 681 patients in this study had a median age of 59 years, and 51.8% were female. The most common histologic subtype was de-differentiated liposarcoma (43%), the median resected organ score was 1, and 83.3% of the patients achieved an R0 or R1 resection. Major complications occurred for 16% of the patients, and the 90-day mortality rate was 0.4%. In the multivariable analysis, a transfusion requirement was found to be a significant predictor of major complications (p < 0.001) and worse overall survival (OS) (p = 0.010). However, having a major complication was not associated with a worse OS or a higher incidence of local recurrence or distant metastasis.

Conclusions: A surgical approach to recurrent RPS is relatively safe and comparable with primary RPS in terms of complications and postoperative mortality when performed at specialized sarcoma centers. Because alternative effective therapies still are lacking, when indicated, resection of a recurrent RPS is a reasonable option. Every effort should be made to minimize the need for blood transfusions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-020-09445-yDOI Listing
May 2021

Primary mesenteric sarcomas: Collaborative experience from the Trans-Atlantic Australasian Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Working Group (TARPSWG).

J Surg Oncol 2021 Mar 23;123(4):1057-1066. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Midlands Abdominal and Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Unit, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

Background: Primary mesenteric soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are rare and limited evidence is available to inform management. Surgical resection is challenging due to the proximity of vital structures and a need to preserve enteric function.

Objectives: To determine the overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) for patients undergoing primary resection for mesenteric STS.

Methods: The Trans-Atlantic Australasian Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Working Group (TARPSWG) is an intercontinental collaborative comprising specialist sarcoma centers. Data were collected retrospectively for all patients with mesenteric STS undergoing primary resection between 2000 and 2019.

Results: Fifty-six cases from 15 institutions were included. The spectrum of pathology was similar to the retroperitoneum, although of a higher grade. R0/R1 resection was achieved in 87%. Median OS was 56 months. OS was significantly shorter in higher-grade tumors (p = .018) and extensive resection (p < .001). No significant association between OS and resection margin or tumor size was detected. Rates of local recurrence (LR) and distant metastases (DM) at 5 years were 60% and 41%, respectively. Liver metastases were common (60%), reflecting portal drainage of the mesentery.

Conclusion: Primary mesenteric sarcoma is rare, with a modest survival rate. LR and DM are frequent events. Liver metastases are common, highlighting the need for surveillance imaging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jso.26353DOI Listing
March 2021

Locally recurrent extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma of the shoulder: a case of complete neoadjuvant radiotherapy response.

Clin Sarcoma Res 2020 Dec 11;10(1):27. Epub 2020 Dec 11.

Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Dei Tumori, Via Venezian, 1, 20133, Milan, MI, Italy.

Background: Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma (EMC) is a rare soft tissue tumor that typically affects the lower limbs of men between the ages of 50 and 60. EMC of the shoulder is rare with a high risk of local recurrence and distant metastasis. A planned surgical excision in sarcoma referral centers (SRCs) is mandatory to obtain the best outcome. The role of chemotherapy (CHT) and Radiotherapy (RT) on soft tissue chondrosarcoma is still controversial.

Case Presentation: A 47-year-old man presented to our referral center with a history of EMC in the right shoulder excised with microscopic positive surgical margins in a non-referral center. Staging imaging exams did not reveal distant metastasis or residual disease, but during follow-up a local recurrence was detected. After a multidisciplinary discussion, preoperative radiotherapy was administered with a total dose of 50 Gy, and then the patient underwent wide surgical excision. Histological examination was negative for viable tumor cells. No relapse occurred in a 24-months post-operative follow up.

Conclusions: The case here described suggests the importance of patient's management in SRCs. A planned combined treatments with both surgery and RT seems to be the best choice to improve local control. RT seems to be promising within this specific histotype. Further studies are needed to confirm if the observed efficacy of combined treatments reflects in a consistent survival benefit for EMC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13569-020-00150-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7731621PMC
December 2020

Defining the role of neoadjuvant systemic therapy in high-risk retroperitoneal sarcoma: A multi-institutional study from the Transatlantic Australasian Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Working Group.

Cancer 2021 Mar 18;127(5):729-738. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Sarcoma Service, Departments of Surgery and Medical Oncology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: In patients with retroperitoneal sarcoma (RPS), the incidence of recurrence after surgery remains high. Novel treatment approaches are needed. This retrospective study evaluated patients with primary, high-risk RPS who received neoadjuvant systemic therapy followed by surgery to 1) determine the frequency and potential predictors of radiologic tumor responses and 2) assess clinical outcomes.

Methods: Clinicopathologic data were collected for eligible patients treated at 13 sarcoma referral centers from 2008 to 2018. Univariable and multivariable logistic models were performed to assess the association between clinical predictors and response. Overall survival (OS) and crude cumulative incidences of local recurrence and distant metastasis were compared.

Results: Data on 158 patients were analyzed. A median of 3 cycles of neoadjuvant systemic therapy (interquartile range, 2-4 cycles) were given. The regimens were mostly anthracycline based; however, there was significant heterogeneity. No patients demonstrated a complete response, 37 (23%) demonstrated a partial response (PR), 88 (56%) demonstrated stable disease, and 33 (21%) demonstrated progressive disease (PD) according to the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1. Only a higher number of cycles given was positively associated with PR (P = .005). All patients underwent complete resection, regardless of the tumor response. Overall, patients whose tumors demonstrated PD before surgery showed markedly worse OS (P = .005). An indication of a better clinical outcome was seen in specific regimens given for grade 3 dedifferentiated liposarcoma and leiomyosarcoma.

Conclusions: In patients with high-risk RPS, the response to neoadjuvant systemic therapy is fair overall. Disease progression on therapy may be used to predict survival after surgery. Subtype-specific regimens should be further validated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33323DOI Listing
March 2021

Surgical management of oncologic patient during and after the COVID-19 outbreak: practical recommendations from the Italian society of Surgical Oncology.

Updates Surg 2021 Feb 12;73(1):321-329. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Italy caused a limitation of the resources of the health system, which necessarily led to their rationalization in the critical phase (phase 1) and a reorganization of the system in the following phase (phase 2). The Italian Society of Oncological Surgery-SICO has drafted these practical recommendations, calibrated on the most recent scientific literature and taking into account current health regulations and common sense. Surgical activity during phase 1 and 2 should follow a dynamic model, considering architectural structures, hospital mission, organizational models. Surgical delay should not affect oncological prognosis. However, COVID-19-positive cancer patients should be postponed until the infection is cured. The patients to consider more carefully before delaying surgery are those who have completed neoadjuvant therapy, patients with high biological aggressiveness tumors or without therapeutic alternatives. The multidisciplinary discussions are fundamental for sharing clinical decisions; videoconference meetings are preferable and use of telemedicine for follow-up is recommended. Especially in phase 1, maximum effort must be made to reduce the spread of the pandemic. Prefer intra-corporeal rather than open anastomosis during laparoscopy and mechanical rather than hand-sewn anastomosis in open surgery. Consider PPE for caregivers during stoma management. Minimal invasive surgery is not discouraged, because there is little evidence for augmented risk. Specific procedures have to be followed and use of energy devices has to be limited. Training programs with COVID-19 + patients are not recommended. All staff in OR should be trained with specific courses on specific PPE use. Differentiate recommendations are presented for every district cancer. Surgical oncology during phase 2 should be guaranteed by individual and distinct protocols and pathways between cancer patients and COVID-19 + patients with resources specifically addressed to the two distinct kind of patients to limit diagnostic/therapeutic interferences or slowdowns. These recommendations are based on currently available evidence about management of oncologic patients during COVID-19 pandemic, were endorsed by the SICO Executive Board, and are considered suitable for nationwide diffusion. They will be subject to updates and revisions in case of new and relevant scientific acquisitions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13304-020-00921-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7660129PMC
February 2021

A Prospective Observational Study of Multivisceral Resection for Retroperitoneal Sarcoma: Clinical and Patient-Reported Outcomes 1 Year After Surgery.

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Jul 11;28(7):3904-3916. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Department of Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

Background: Primary retroperitoneal sarcoma (RPS) may require multivisceral resection (MVR). Clinical outcome (morbidity and renal function) and quality of life (QoL) are not as well reported as the oncologic outcome.

Methods: Patients with primary RPS who underwent surgery between 2014 and 2016 were prospectively enrolled in an observational longitudinal study. At baseline, then at 4 and 12 months, the study measured Clavien-Dindo morbidity, estimated glomerular filtration rate (EGFR), EORTC QLQ-C30, QLQ-CR29, DN4 (neuropathic pain [NP]), lower-extremity functional scale (LEFS), and the brief pain inventory. The primary end point was the difference in global health status (GHS/QoL). The secondary end points were EGFR changes, difference in other QLQ-C30 scales, pain intensity, NP, and LEFS. The study is registered at ClinTrials.gov (NCT03480399).

Results: Of 74 patients, 58 were evaluable. Morbidity grade 3 or higher was 24.1%, and mortality was 1.3%. After nephrectomy, the mean 1-year EGFR change was -33.9%. The GHS/QoL at baseline was 58.6 and had increased of 6.9 points at 1 year, comparable with that of the general population. A transient worsening in pain and diarrhea had recovered at 12 months. Average pain was mild and did not differ at 12 months. However, NP was found in 41.4% of the patients and was significantly associated with resection of the psoas muscle. At baseline, LEFS was already lower than the normative value, and worsening after surgery was not clinically relevant.

Conclusion: A QoL measure after MVR in primary RPS is complex and requires multiple tools. Whereas overall MVR is safe and associated with an improvement in GHS/QoL, chronic NP is frequent and deserves specific attention. Pre-surgery rehabilitation tracks may help to prevent or reduce chronic NP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-020-09307-7DOI Listing
July 2021

Head and neck adult-type soft tissues sarcomas: survival analysis and comparison between the last two editions of the TNM staging system.

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2020 Nov 5. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Maxillofacial and Thyroid Surgery, Fondazione IRCCS, National Cancer Institute of Milan, University of Milan, 20133, Milan, Italy.

Purpose: Head and neck soft tissues sarcomas (HNSTS) are a heterogeneous group of rare tumours. The 8th edition of the TNM staging system (8TNM) considered these lesions separately for the first time. The aim of this study is to assess its effectiveness and identify the most significant prognostic factors for HNSTS.

Methods: A retrospective survival analysis on 101 HNSTS operated between 1995 and 2015 at the National Cancer Institute of Milan was carried out. The variables considered were pathological stage (according to both the 7TNM and 8TNM), site, histotype, depth, grading, surgical radicality, (neo)adjuvant radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy.

Results: According to the 7TNM, the T category distribution was 35 T1a, 23 T1b, 11 T2a, and 32 T2b. Applying the 8TNM, the distribution changed to 19 T1, 18 T2, 35 T3, and 29 T4. Five-year overall and disease-specific survivals were 74.3 and 76.2%, respectively. Univariate analysis demonstrated an increased hazard ratio (HR) for deep lesions invading adjacent structures, high-grade, surgery with close/microscopically positive margins, and chemotherapy. Multivariate analysis confirmed an increased HR for deep location and size > 5 cm, G2-G3 tumours, and marginal surgery. No significant difference was found among T categories of the 8TNM.

Conclusion: The present study underlines the negative prognostic impact of depth, size > 5 cm, high grade, and marginal treatment for HNSTS. Our results did not allow to validate the 8TNM staging system since, apparently, it was not associated with meaningful prognostic stratification. Further studies with wider multicentric cohorts should, however, be performed to obtain more powerful statistical data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00405-020-06452-3DOI Listing
November 2020

Has the Outcome for Patients Who Undergo Resection of Primary Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Changed Over Time? A Study of Time Trends During the Past 15 years.

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Mar 18;28(3):1700-1709. Epub 2020 Oct 18.

Department of Surgical Oncology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre/Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada.

Background: This study aimed to investigate changes in treatment strategy and outcome for patients with primary retroperitoneal sarcoma (RPS) undergoing resection at referral centers during a recent period.

Methods: The study enrolled consecutive adult patients with primary non-metastatic RPS who underwent resection with curative intent between 2002 and 2017 at 10 referral centers. The patients were grouped into three periods according to date of surgery: t1 (2002-2006), t2 (2007-2011), and t3 (2012-2017). Five-year overall survival (OS), disease-specific survival (DSS), and crude cumulative incidence (CCI) of local recurrence (LR) and distant metastasis (DM) were calculated. Multivariable analyses for OS and DSS were performed.

Results: The study included 1942 patients. The median follow-up period after resection varied from 130 months (interquartile range [IQR], 124-141 months) in t1 to 37 months (IQR, 35-39 months) in t3. The 5-year OS was 61.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 56.4-66.3%) in t1, 67.0% (95 CI, 63.2-71.0%) in t2, and 71.9% (95% CI, 67.7-76.1%) in t3. The rate of macroscopically incomplete resection (R2) was 7.1% in t1 versus 4.7% in t3 (p = 0.066). The median number of resected organs increased over time (p < 0.001). In the multivariable analysis resection during t3 was associated with better OS and DSS. The 90-day postoperative mortality improved over time (4.3% in t1 to 2.3% in t3; p = 0.031). The 5-year CCI of LR and DM did not change significantly over time.

Conclusions: The long-term survival of patients who underwent resection for primary RPS has increased during the past 15 years. This increased survival is attributable to better patient selection for resection, quality of surgery, and perioperative patient management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-020-09065-6DOI Listing
March 2021

Strategies for care of patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor or soft tissue sarcoma during COVID-19 pandemic: A guide for surgical oncologists.

J Surg Oncol 2021 Jan 6;123(1):12-23. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is deeply impacting the accessibility of cancer patients to surgery. In resource-limited conditions, the standard of care might not be deliverable, but evidence to support alternative management strategies often exists. By revisiting available treatment options, this review provides surgical oncologists with an evidence-based framework for treating patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumor, extremity/truncal soft tissue sarcoma, and retroperitoneal sarcoma to rapidly adapt their decision-making to the constant evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jso.26246DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7675701PMC
January 2021