Sarcomas in the United States: Recent trends and a call for improved staging

Michele M. Gage, Neeraja Nagarajan, Jessica M. Ruck, Joseph K. Canner, Salma Khan, Katherine Giuliano, Faiz Gani, Christopher Wolfgang, Fabian M. Johnston, Nita Ahuja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and objectives: Sarcomas represent a heterogeneous group of tumors, and there is lack of data describing contemporary changes in patterns of care. We evaluated the epidemiology of sarcomas over 12 recent years Methods: The Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database was queried for sarcoma cases from 2002-2014. Patient, tumor and treatment factors, and trends over time were studied overall and by subtype. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression models and 5-year survival and cause-specific mortality (CSM) were summarized. Results: There were 78,527 cases of sarcomas with an overall incidence of 7.1 cases per 100,000 people, increasing from 6.8 in 2002 to 7.7 in 2014. Sarcoma NOS(14.8%) and soft tissue(43.4%) were the most common histology and primary site, respectively. A majority of tumors were high-grade(33.6%) and >5 cm(51.3%). CSM was 28.6% and 5-year survival was 71.4%. Many patients had unknowngrade( 42.2%), which associated with 2.6 times increased odds of no surgical intervention. Conclusions: This comprehensive national study highlights important trends including increasing incidence, changing histologic types, and underestimation of true incidence. A large proportion of sarcomas are inadequately staged (unknowngrade 42.2%) with lack of appropriate surgical treatment. Our study highlights need for standardization of care for sarcomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2462-2474
Number of pages13
Issue number25
StatePublished - Mar 29 2019


  • Connective tissue tumors
  • Mesenchymal tumors
  • SEER
  • Sarcoma
  • Trends of sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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