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BACKGROUND: Leiomyosarcoma of deep soft tissues of the extremities is a rare malignant tumour treated primarily by surgery. The incidence of local recurrence and lymph node metastasis is uncertain and it is not known whether a sentinel lymph node biopsy is indicated in these tumours. METHODS: A retrospective review of patients treated for extremity deep soft tissue leiomyosarcoma at our institution over a 10-year period was conducted. Patients developing local recurrence or lymph node metastasis were identified. The presence or absence of lymphatics in the primary tumours was assessed by immunohistochemical expression of LYVE-1 and podoplanin. RESULTS: 27 patients (mean age 62 years) were included in the study. 15 were female and 12 male. Lymph node metastasis was seen in only two cases (7%); intratumoural lymphatics were identified in the primary tumours of both these cases. Local recurrence occurred in 25.9% of cases despite complete excision and post-operative radiotherapy; the mean time to recurrence was 10.1 months. CONCLUSION: On the basis of this study, we do not advocate sentinel lymph node biopsy in this group of patients except in those cases in which intratumoural lymphatics can be demonstrated. Close follow up is important especially for high grade leiomyosarcomas, particularly in the first year, as these tumours have a high incidence of local recurrence.

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Journal article


Clin sarcoma res

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