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Treatment-resistant, locally advanced soft tissue sarcomas often require amputation for complete tumor extirpation. Isolated limb infusion (ILI) selectively delivers high-dose chemotherapy to the extremity in an attempt to achieve limb salvage. The aim of this study was to report perioperative and oncologic outcomes after ILI in patients with extremity soft tissue sarcomas. From 1994 to 2016, 77 patients underwent 84 ILIs at a total of 5 institutions. Melphalan and actinomycin D were circulated for 30 minutes after complete tourniquet occlusion of the limb, then actively washed out to prevent systemic exposure. The procedure was performed in an upper extremity on 19 patients (21 infusions) and in a lower extremity on 58 patients (63 infusions). The 3-month overall response rate (ORR) for the entire cohort was 58%, and there was a statistically significant difference (p = 0.03) between upper (37%) and lower extremity (66%) ORR. With median follow-up of 20.6 months (range 0.6 to 146.1 months), the overall limb salvage rate was 77.9%. For those who underwent amputation due to progression of disease, the median time to amputation was 4.5 months. With a median follow-up of 20.6 months, the median overall survival for the entire cohort was 44.3 months. The distant metastatic-free survival was longer for responders than nonresponders (p = 0.01), though the disease-specific survival was not different for the same groups (p = 0.2). Isolated limb infusion for extremity soft tissue sarcoma results in an objective response for half of the patients who are otherwise facing amputation, and offers prolonged limb salvage for the vast majority of patients. The procedure is well tolerated without serious complications. Copyright © 2017 American College of Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


John E Mullinax, Hidde M Kroon, John F Thompson, Neel Nath, Paul J Mosca, Jeffrey M Farma, Rajendra Bhati, Danielle Hardmann, Sean Sileno, Cristina O'Donoghue, Matthew Perez, Syeda Mahrukh Hussnain Naqvi, Y Ann Chen, Ricardo J Gonzalez, Jonathan S Zager. Isolated Limb Infusion as a Limb Salvage Strategy for Locally Advanced Extremity Sarcoma. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2017 Apr;224(4):635-642

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PMID: 28214556

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