"Unplanned excision" in soft tissue sarcoma (STS) is defined as the gross removal of tumor without preoperative staging or consideration of the need for removal of normal tissue around the tumor. This study evaluated whether unplanned excision in patients with extremity STS would have an impact on local relapse (LR), even if reexcision of the tumor bed was undertaken.

Two hundred thirty-nine (239) patients with primary, extremity STS treated with limb salvage surgery were included in this study. Of the 239, 78% were treated with surgery and irradiation. Forty-seven tumors were low-grade and 192 high grade. Mean tumor diameter was 7.5 cm. Twenty had local recurrences and 64 relapsed systemically.

Only margin and prior surgery were significant in univariate analysis (P < 0.05, log-rank test). The Cox multivariate analysis revealed that both margin of resection (P < 0.001) and the status of the local tumor site (P < 0.05) at definitive surgery were significant predictors of local relapse.

These results suggest that the presence of microscopic disease in the reexcised specimen following unplanned resection is a risk factor for local disease recurrence.

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