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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 121

of 'Clinical features, evaluation, and treatment of retroperitoneal soft tissue sarcoma'

Effectiveness of palliative procedures for intra-abdominal sarcomas.
Yeh JJ, Singer S, Brennan MF, Jaques DP
Ann Surg Oncol. 2005;12(12):1084.
BACKGROUND: Nearly half of patients with intra-abdominal (retroperitoneal, visceral, or pelvic) sarcoma undergo more than one operation. When the objective shifts from cure to palliation, the clinical quandary of doing no harm and maximizing benefit is magnified. Knowledge of the effectiveness of a procedure at achieving its palliative intent, as well as its attendant morbidity and mortality, is therefore paramount during this deliberation.
METHODS: A retrospective review was performed of all patients with a diagnosis of intra-abdominal sarcoma who underwent a palliative procedure between 1982 and 2003. A procedure was defined as palliative if it was explicitly performed to relieve symptoms.
RESULTS: Ten percent (112 of 1084) of patients with a diagnosis of intra-abdominal sarcoma underwent a total of 156 palliative procedures. The most frequent system for which a palliative procedure was performed was gastrointestinal (68 of 156; 44%). Overall, 71% of patients had improvement of symptoms 30 days after the operation, whereas only 54% of patients remained symptom free after 100 days. Although 54% of gastrointestinal tract obstructive symptoms were successfully relieved at 30 days, only 23% of patients remained symptom free at 100 days. The overall operative morbidity was 29%, and postoperative mortality was 12%. Patients undergoing procedures intended to palliate gastrointestinal obstruction encountered the greatest morbidity (19 of 40; 48%).
CONCLUSIONS: Successful palliation of many symptoms associated with advanced intra-abdominal sarcoma may be achieved. However, even in highly selected patients, the progressive and pervasive nature of the disease limits the opportunity to attain sustained relief for gastrointestinal obstructive symptoms.
Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.