One-year mortality in patients with bone and soft tissue sarcomas as an indicator of delay in presentation.
Nandra R., Hwang N., Matharu GS., Reddy K., Grimer R.
INTRODUCTION: For many cancers, one-year mortality following diagnosis is a reflection of either advanced stage at diagnosis, multiple co-morbidities and/or complications of treatment. One-year mortality has not been reported for soft tissue or bone sarcomas. This study reports 1-year sarcoma mortality data over a 25-year period, investigates prognostic factors and considers whether a delay in presentation affects 1-year mortality. METHODS: A total of 4,945 newly diagnosed bone sarcoma and soft tissue sarcoma patients were identified from a prospectively maintained, single institution oncology database. Of these, 595 (12%) died within 1 year of diagnosis. Both patient factors and tumour characteristics available at diagnosis were analysed for effect. RESULTS: There was significant variation in one-year mortality between different histological subtypes. There has been no significant change in mortality rate during the last 25 years (mean: 11.7%, standard deviation: 2.8 percentage points). Soft tissue sarcoma patients who survived over one year reported a longer duration of symptoms preceding diagnosis than those who died (median: 26 vs 20 weeks, p<0.001). Prognostic factors identified in both bone and soft tissue sarcomas mirrored those for mid to long-term survival, with high tumour stage, large tumour size, metastases at diagnosis and increasing age having the greatest predictive effect. CONCLUSIONS: One-year mortality in bone and soft tissue sarcoma patients is easy to measure, and could be a proxy for late presentation and therefore a potential performance indicator, similar to other cancers. It is possible to predict the risk of one-year mortality using factors available at diagnosis. Death within one year does not correlate with a long history but is associated with advanced disease at diagnosis.