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)
Low malignity – extremities, trunk (except intra-/retroperitoneal)
Highly malign ? intra-/retroperitoneal
Low malignity ? intra-/retroperitoneal