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19-09-2016 | Sarcoma | Article

Sarcoma Brain Metastases: 28 Years of Experience at a Single Institution

Annals of Surgical Oncology

Authors: MD Ghadah Al Sannaa, BS Kelsey L. Watson, MD Adriana Olar, MD Wei-Lien Wang, MD, PhD Gregory N. Fuller, MD Ian McCutcheon, MD, PhD Keila E. Torres, MD, PhD Alexander J. Lazar

Publisher: Springer International Publishing



Brain metastasis from sarcoma is rare, thus limited information is available. We examined sarcoma brain metastases diagnosed at our institution over a period of 28 years.


This is a retrospective study of 112 cases. Clinical records were reviewed and clinical, pathological, and survival data were tabulated.


Undifferentiated sarcoma was the most common source. In 50 % of cases, the primary sarcoma was in the extremities. Most patients were adults at the time of first brain metastasis, and median age was 34.8 years. Although most patients evidenced metastatic disease to other sites prior to developing brain metastasis, in almost one quarter, brain was the initial site. Most of the metastatic foci were parenchymal, nonhemorrhagic, and solitary. Forty percent of the brain metastatic deposits were located in the frontal lobes. Thirty-one percent recurred—all within 5.3 years. Seventy-six percent of patients succumbed to the disease, with a median survival time of only 0.6 years. Hemorrhagic metastatic foci were found to be associated with significantly lower recurrence-free, as well as disease-specific survivals. No difference in survival was noted between single versus multiple deposits or primary soft tissue versus bone sarcomas. No statistically significant effect on survival was found when neurosurgical resection was combined with radiotherapy. Chemotherapy, on the other hand, was found to significantly improve disease-specific survival when combined with metastasectomy.


Undifferentiated sarcoma was the most common source of brain metastasis. Most cases showed evidence of prior metastatic disease. Surgical resection is employed to manage symptoms, but prognosis remains dismal.

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