The reason for confining the use of adjuvant chemotherapy in soft tissue sarcoma to the investigational setting.

Research paper by J J Verweij, C C Seynaeve

Indexed on: 12 Oct '99Published on: 12 Oct '99Published in: Seminars in Radiation Oncology


Adjuvant chemotherapy for soft tissue sarcoma has been the subject of many studies. Most studies have been nonrandomized and therefore by definition inconclusive. In addition, most of the 14 performed randomized studies have had small sample sizes. A meta-analysis on the data of these 14 studies suggested a possible survival improvement, albeit not significant. The outcome of the meta-analysis should be interpreted with caution in view of the fact that in 18% of patients, histology data were lacking; ineligibility rates in included studies were high; central pathology was not uniformly performed; and in 6% of patients, sarcomas other than soft tissue sarcomas were included. Because it is generally recommended that meta-analyses of small randomized trials are used only to generate hypotheses for more reliable randomized trials, it is argued that adjuvant chemotherapy in soft tissue sarcomas should remain confined to the investigational setting.