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Follow up

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Regular follow-up care aims at identifying potential relapse (= recurrence) or the development of metastases as early as possible. In most cases, these situations arise in the first two years after primary therapy, although monitoring can continue for ten years afterwards. Follow-up care focuses on providing accurate analysis of local findings, as well as looking for metastases. Unfortunately, there are no so called biomarkers – parameters e.g. measured in the blood – that would allow early warning of a possible relapse in soft-tissue sarcoma.

To date, there are no meaningful data about follow-up in patients with soft tissue sarcomas. Recommendations for follow-up care after curative therapy of localized soft-tissue sarcomas are based on the type and quality of local therapy, the degree of malignancy, the primary tumor location, the histopathological subtype, the median development time frames for local recurrences and metastases, as well as the therapy options available for each individual case.

The following table provides guidance for an individualized, risk-adapted follow-up care according to the American NCCN guidelines

Follow-up years             years 1 – 3          years 4 + 5        > 5 years

Highly malign - extremities, trunk (except intra-/retroperitoneal)

Anamnesis, bodily

examination

every 3 - 6 months every 6 months 1x / year
CT-Thorax (Thorax x-rays) every 3-6 months every 6 months 1x / year
Sono-Abdomen                        every 6
                       months
1x / year
Local control: MRT, CT or Sono depending on the expected risk, e.g.
6 months
depending on the expected risk, for example once a year

Low malignity - extremities, trunk (except intra-/retroperitoneal)

Anamnesis, bodily

examination

every 3 - 6 months 1x / year
CT-Thorax (Thorax x-rays) every 6 – 12 months 1x / year optional
Sono-Abdomen every 6 - 12
months
optional
Local control: MRT, CT or Sono depending on the expected risk, for example every
6 months
1x / year

Highly malign – intra-/retroperitoneal

Anamnesis, bodily

examination

every 3 - 6 months every 6 months 1x / year
CT-Abdomen / pelvis every 3 - 6 months every 6 months 1x / year
CT-Thorax (Thorax x-rays) every 6 months every 6 - 12 months 1x / year

Low malignity – intra-/retroperitoneal

Anamnesis, bodily

examination

every 3 - 6 months 1x / year
CT-Abdomen / pelvis every 3-6 months 1x / year
CT-Thorax (Thorax x-rays)

Optional, e.g. every 6 - 12

months

1x / year