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Role of Radiation Therapy in Retroperitoneal Sarcoma

Kilian E. Salerno and Elizabeth H. Baldini

Retroperitoneal sarcoma comprises a small subset of all soft tissue sarcoma and includes various histopathologic subtypes, each with unique patterns of behavior and differential risks for local recurrence and hematogenous metastatic spread. The primary treatment modality is surgery, although even with complete macroscopic resection, recurrence is common. The rationale for the addition of radiotherapy to resection is to improve local control; however, the use of radiation therapy for retroperitoneal sarcoma is controversial, and existing data are suboptimal to guide management. Treatment decisions should be determined with multidisciplinary input and shared decision-making. When used in selected patients, radiation therapy should be delivered preoperatively; postoperative treatment is not recommended.