Predicting survival for well-differentiated liposarcoma: The importance of tumor location

Caitlin A. Smith, Steve R. Martinez, Warren H. Tseng, Robert M. Tamurian, Richard J Bold, Dariusz Borys, Robert J Canter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Background: Although well-differentiated liposarcoma (WD Lipo) is a low grade neoplasm with a negligible risk of metastatic disease, it can be locally aggressive. We hypothesized that survival for WD Lipo varies significantly based on tumor location. Methods: We identified 1266 patients with WD Lipo in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database from 1988-2004. After excluding patients diagnosed by autopsy only, those lacking histologic confirmation, those lacking data on tumor location, and those with metastatic disease or unknown staging information, we arrived at a final study cohort of 1130 patients. Clinical, pathologic, and treatment variables were analyzed for their association with overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) using Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards multivariate models. Results: Mean age was 61 y (±14.6), 72.2% were white, and 60.4% were male. Eighty-one percent of patients were treated with surgical therapy alone, 4.6% were treated with radiotherapy (RT) alone, and 12.9% were treated with both surgery and RT. Extremity location was most common (41.6%), followed by trunk (29%), retroperitoneal/intra-abdominal (RIA, 21.6%), thorax (4.2%), and head/neck (3.6%). With a median follow-up of 45 mo, median OS was 115 mo (95% confidence interval [CI] 92-138 mo) for RIA tumors compared to not reached for other tumor locations (P = 0.002). On multivariate analysis, increasing age and RIA location both predicted worse OS and DSS while tumor size, race, sex, receipt of RT, and Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) stage did not. Tumor size became a significant predictor of worse DSS, but not OS, only when site, SEER stage, and extent of resection were removed from the multivariate model. Non-RIA locations, including extremity, experienced statistically similar OS, but 5-y DSS for trunk location was intermediate [92.3%, (95% CI 88.5%-96.1%) compared with 98.0% (95% CI, 96.2%-99.8%) for extremity and 86.6 (95% CI 81.1%-92.1%) for RIA, P < 0.001]. Conclusions: Among patients with WD Lipo, RIA location is associated with significantly worse outcomes independent of tumor size. Future studies should focus on the anatomic and biologic reasons for these differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-17
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012


  • liposarcoma
  • soft tissue sarcoma
  • survival
  • well-differentiated liposarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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