Correlation of radiological and histopathological response after neoadjuvant radiotherapy in soft tissue sarcoma.



RECIST, Choi and the EORTC-STBSG response score show incongruent results in response evaluation. The radiological response was significantly correlated with a lower percentage of viable cells and necrosis, but a higher percentage of fibrosis. Apart from necrosis, radiological nor other histopathological parameters were associated with oncologic outcomes.


A retrospective cohort of patients with localized STS of the extremity and trunk wall, treated with nRT followed by resection were included. The radiological response was assessed by RECIST 1.1 (RECIST) and MR-adapted Choi (Choi), histopathologic response was evaluated according to the EORTC-STBSG recommendations. Oncological outcome parameters of interest were local recurrence-free survival (LRFS), disease metastases-free survival (DMFS), and overall survival (OS).


For 107 patients, complete pre- and postoperative pathology and imaging datasets were available. Most tumors were high-grade (77%) and the most common histological subtypes were undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma/not otherwise specified (UPS/NOS, 40%), myxoid liposarcoma (MLS, 21%) and myxofibrosarcoma (MFS, 16%). When comparing RECIST to Choi, the response was differently categorized in 58%, with a higher response rate (CR + PR) with Choi. Radiological responders showed a significant lower median percentage of viable cells (RECIST p = .050, Choi p = .015) and necrosis (RECIST p < .001), and a higher median percentage of fibrosis (RECIST p = .005, Choi p = .008), compared to radiological non-responders (SD + PD). RECIST, Choi, fibrosis, and viable cells were not significantly associated with altered oncological outcome, more necrosis was associated with poorer OS (p = .038).


The aim of this study was to assess the association between radiological and histopathological response after neoadjuvant radiotherapy (nRT) in soft tissue sarcoma (STS), as well as the prognostic value of the different response evaluation methods on the oncological outcome.

More about this publication

Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden)
  • Volume 62
  • Issue nr. 1
  • Pages 25-32
  • Publication date 01-01-2023

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