O’Sullivan B, Davis AM, Turcotte R, et al. Preoperative versus postoperative radiotherapy in soft-tissue sarcoma of the limbs: a randomised trial. Lancet. 2002 Jun 29;359(9325):2235-41. Full-text for Emory users.
Findings: Median follow-up was 3·3 years (range 0·27–5·6). Four patients, all in the preoperative group, did not undergo protocol surgery and were not evaluable for the primary outcome. Of those patients who were eligible and evaluable, wound complications were recorded in 31 (35%) of 88 in the preoperative group and 16 (17%) of 94 in the postoperative group (difference 18% [95% CI 5–30], p=0·01). Tumour size and anatomical site were also significant risk factors in multivariate analysis. Overall survival was slightly better in patients who had preoperative radiotherapy than in those who had postoperative treatment (p=0·0481).
Interpretation: Because preoperative radiotherapy is associated with a greater risk of wound complications than postoperative radiotherapy, the choice of regimen for patients with soft-tissue sarcoma should take into account the timing of surgery and radiotherapy, and the size and anatomical site of the tumour.