ESMO 2018 – Reduced mortality, relapses for sarcoma patients in French reference centre

  • Michael Simm
  • Oncology Conference reports
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  • An analysis of 47,023 patients shows that those diagnosed and treated within NetSarc, the French clinical reference network for soft tissue and visceral sarcomas, received a much higher quality of initial and final resections of their tumours.
  • Surgery within NetSarc was also a strong predictor of relapse-free survival and overall survival.

Why this matters

  • Sarcomas are both rare and varied tumours.
  • This analysis quantifies how much patients profit from treatment in specialised centres or networks and could serve as a rationale for mandatory referral.

Key results

  • While 76% of patients at NetSarc had either sarcoma (57%), tumours of intermediate malignancy (13.3%) or GIST (5.7%), lesions were found to be benign in 20.8%, and a further 4.1% had nonmesenchymal malignant tumors or other/unknown diagnoses (3.1%/0.7%).
  • Quality of initial resection outside/within NetSarc for R0 15.9% vs 53.0%; R1 16% vs 24.0%; R2 8.5% vs 4.2%; unknown 59.1% vs 18.8%.
  • Quality of final resection outside/within NetSarc for R0 24% vs 56.7%; R2 12.8% vs 21.8%; R2 5.0% vs 3.0%; unknown 58.2% vs 18.5%.
  • For those with surgery in NetSarc, the relative risk for relapse-free survival was 0.556 and for overall survival 0.637 in comparison to patients outside NetSarc.


  • Incomplete data for a high proportion rate of patients regarding date of surgery and initial/final quality of resection.

Expert opinion

  • “Mandatory treatment of sarcoma patients seems to be the simplest and cheapest way to improve survival in these orphan tumors.” Jean-Yves Blay, principal investigator, the NETSARC network.


  • French NCI (INCa).

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