As adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) for soft tissue sarcomas is controversial, we performed a retrospective analysis of patients seen at Washington University in St. Louis to evaluate whether it benefited our patient population. Patients were risk-assessed using the Memorial Sloan Kettering Predictive Nomogram (MSKPN). We defined high-risk patients by a MSKPN 4-year postoperative probability of sarcoma-specific death of ≥0.3 and investigated if they benefited from AC. Retrospective review was performed on patients seen between 15 February 1996 and 6 February 2010. A propensity score method in the logistic regression framework was used to model the likelihood of receiving AC. To make causal inference on the effect of AC on survival outcomes, a propensity score inverse probability of treatment weighting approach was applied to survival analysis. Overall, 135 high-grade patients were assessed, 33 were treated with Ifosfamide/Epirubicin (I/Epi) and 102 were non AC patients. The stratified MSKPN risk was not significantly associated with any survival endpoint in the whole cohort, but trended for overall survival (OS) when evaluated against non AC patients. After adjustment for MSKPN risk and other variables, patients not receiving chemotherapy had significantly worse OS, recurrent free survival, and disease-specific survival (DSS) with adjusted hazard ratios of 4.18 (95% CI: 2.22-7.90), 8.96 (95% CI: 3.85-20.83), and 5.42 (95% CI: 2.09-14.06), respectively. In retrospective analyses, risk-stratified patients with soft tissue sarcoma benefited from I/Epi-based AC. Randomized I/Epi versus I/Doxorubicin clinical trials may determine the optimal adjuvant treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-612
Number of pages10
JournalCancer medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014


  • Adjuvant chemotherapy
  • doxorubicin
  • epirubicin
  • sarcoma


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