Postradiation sarcomas

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This report from Groote Schuur therefore sets out to review cases of postradiation sarcomas, including malignant mixed mullerian tumors (MMMT), presenting to the Radiation Oncology Departments of Groote Schuur Hospital and the affiliated hospitals (Frere Hospital, East London and Provincial Hospital, Port Elizabeth) or known to have occurred in patients initially treated in these hospitals. It aims [1] to establish the features of the initial malignancy as well as the latent period for the development of postradiation sarcoma, the type of postradiation tumor and the outcome of the disease; [2] to establish as accurately as possible dose levels at which the postradiation tumors have developed; and [3] to briefly describe possible risk factors such as a genetic predisposition to the development of malignancy, repeated courses of radiotherapy, surgery as part of the treatment of the initial tumor, and chemotherapy. Questions regarding the genesis of postradiation sarcomas cannot be answered by a review of 20 cases, even when combined with an analysis of literature. This review aims to add relevant information to the body of data from which the final answers may come. In view of the late diagnosis often made in cases of postradiation sarcoma (25, 94) the review also aims to heighten awareness of the condition so that it may be more often reported at a curable stage.