WE HAVE been interested in retroperitoneal tumors for a considerable length of time. In 1946 one of our former colleagues, Dr. B. A. Donnelly,1 reported an extensive series from the University Hospitals, comprising 95 patients observed in a 20-year period.
Review of the material at the University Hospitals subsequent to Dr. Donnelly's report reveals some 32 cases in which an unequivocal diagnosis of primary retroperitoneal tumor can be made, excluding those of known adrenal, renal, and pancreatic origin and sacrococcygeal teratomata. It would appear, therefore, that in the University Hospitals patient population the incidence remains relatively constant.
How does a surgeon attempt to approach a retroperitoneal tumor with a reasonable chance for complete extirpation of the lesion at lowest risk to the patient?
Early in the course of the operative approach histologic studies should be performed by use of frozen sections. We believe that open preliminary biopsy can be