Prognoses of superficial soft tissue sarcoma: The importance of fascia-tumor relationship on MRI

Jeong Hyun Lee, Yongsung Kim, Hye Jin Yoo, Han Soo Kim, Hwan Seong Cho, Ilkyu Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Superficial soft tissue sarcoma (S-STS) has been reported to have more favorable prognoses than deep-seated STS. However, for some patients, poor prognoses have been observed and there is a need for better prognostication. The deep peripheral fascia lies in the border of the S-STS and can be consistently detected using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The relationship of the subcutaneous tumor with the fascia on MRI scan was reported to be useful in classifying the tumor as benign or malignant; this in turn, may reflect the biological aggressiveness of STS. This study was performed to evaluate the oncologic outcomes and to identify the prognostic factors of S-STS by focusing on the relationship of S-STS with the underlying fascia on MRI. Material and methods: We retrospectively reviewed data on 253 patients who underwent resection of localized S-STS. Potential factors that might influence the oncologic outcomes were identified. The fascia-tumor relationship on MRI was classified into three groups: no fascial contact group (n = 46), fascial contact group (n = 77), and fascial invasion group (n = 84). Results: Overall, 39 patients (16.5%) died due to S-STS; the 5- and 10-year survival rates were 82.6 ± 2.9% and 73.2 ± 4.5%, respectively. Fascial invasion detected on MRI scans (OR = 2.190, p = 0.034) and advanced age (OR = 2.408, p = 0.034) were found to be independent factors for worse disease specific survival. The fascia-tumor relationship on MRI scan was not associated with local recurrence of S-STS. Conclusion: The fascia-tumor relationship on MRI scan reflects the biological aggressiveness of S-STS and can serve as a prognostic factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-287
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number2
Early online date5 Oct 2019
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Fascia
  • MRI
  • Prognostic factor
  • Superficial soft tissue sarcoma

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