• To determine the significance of small (≤5 cm in diameter) soft-tissue sarcoma of the extremity, 174 adult patients were identified from information that had been entered prospectively into a database of 1742 patients between July 1982 and December 1990. Median follow-up was 48 months. The majority of tumors were high grade (n=114; 66%). Local recurrence (n=17) was seen in patients with both high-grade (11 %) and low-grade tumors (7%). Distant metastases were seen in 7% of high-grade tumors and in no low-grade tumors. The overall 5-year survival rate was 94% for all patients. Grade, depth, location, type of operation, and sex did not affect 5-year survival or local recurrence-free survival. Neither postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy nor radiation therapy resulted in superior 5-year survival or local recurrence-free survival when compared with no postoperative treatment. The prognosis of these lesions is favorable, and no additional prognostic factors were identified. Inclusion of these patients into adjuvant therapy trials examining survival is inappropriate.
(Arch Surg. 1992;127:1285-1289)