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Treatment Facility: An Important Prognostic Factor for Dedifferentiated Liposarcoma Survival

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A National Cancer Database study of on survival outcomes for patients with dedifferentiated liposarcomas found that insurance status, median household income, and treatment facility were associated with differences in median survival and 5- and 10-year survival probabilities.



Approximately 17% to 25% of all softtissue sarcomas (STS) are liposarcomas, making liposarcoma the most common type of STS. 1 The 2013 World Health Organization (WHO) classification separates liposarcoma into 4 histologic subtypes: atypical lipomatous tumor/well-differentiated (ALT/ WDLPS), dedifferentiated (DDLPS), myxoid, and pleomorphic. 2 Each subtype has unique histology, morphology, and natural history. WDLPS and DDLPS are the most common histologic subtypes, comprising approximately 50% of all sarcomas that arise in the retroperitoneum. 3 DDLPS represents 18% of all liposarcomas, making it the second most common subtype of liposarcoma. 4

In 1979, DDLPS was first characterized. 5 Most (90%) cases of DDLPS present de novo, whereas the other 10% transform from preexisting low-grade WDLPS. 2 DDLPSs are formed by an amplification of 12q14-15 involving the MDM2 gene. 4 These malignancies most commonly present in the retroperitoneum as a large painless mass, consisting of both fatty and nonfatty components. 2 Primary site has been previously reported as a major prognostic factor for DDLPSs, with retroperitoneal DDLPSs demonstrating the worst prognosis.6 DDLPSs have a high risk of local recurrence, with some reports estimating recurrence rates approaching 40%. 2 Overall mortality at 5 years for DDLPS is estimated to be between 30% and 40%. 4

Previous literature has determined that median income, race, health insurance, and facility type are related to survival outcomes for patients with DDLPS.7-9 When comparing the most common types of cancers, residents of poorer US counties consistently had a higher risk of mortality than residents in affluent US counties, and all racial minorities showed worse survival outcomes when compared with white patients. 7 Differences in survival outcomes have been reported in patients attending different treatment facilities for other cancers including pancreatic cancers, glioblastomas, and oral cancers, with multiple studies concluding that academic and research programs are associated with the longest survival outcomes. 10-12 For many cancers, insurance status has been shown to be a significant prognostic factor, with private insurance typically resulting in the best prognosis. 8,9

The goal of this retrospective study was to assess the prognostic effects of socioeconomic variables on the overall survival (OS) probabilities in a large cohort of DDLPS patients in order to inform clinicians about a potentially at-risk population.


The National Cancer Database (NCDB) was created by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons and the American Cancer Society. The NCDB is the largest cancer database in the US and includes data on almost 70% of US patients with cancer. CoC-accredited cancer programs add data on patients with cancer to the NCDB. The authors accessed the NCDB data through the use of the NCDB Participant Use File program.

Patients’ data from 2004 through 2015 were abstracted. Only patients with the International Classification of Diseases for Oncology histology code 8858, corresponding to DDLPS, were analyzed. Patients with other comorbid malignant tumors were excluded to accurately capture the true survival rates for DDLPS. Variables analyzed included age, sex, race, insurance status, treatment facility type, median household income by zip code, and percentage of adults in the patient’s zip code with no high school (HS) education.


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