Between 1960 and 1982, 188 patients were treated for soft tissue sarcomas of the head and neck. These patients had a heterogenous group of neoplasms whose biologic behavior was determined by histologic classification, differentiation, and size. Histologic classification of these tumors was important and had prognostic significance. Differentiation affected local control and the propensity for distant metastases. Tumor size also contributed to outcome: patients with tumors of more than 5 cm had a worse survival than those with smaller sarcomas. Wide surgical excision with an adequate margin of normal tissue offered the best means of local control. The addition of postoperative radiotherapy was utilized for patients with positive margins or high grade aggressive sarcomas. Finally, despite multimodality therapy, achieving local control and prevention of distant disease in high grade sarcomas remains a major therapeutic challenge.
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