Soft Tissue Sarcoma (STS)

Early diagnosis and interdisciplinary cooperation between various specialists from the respective medical fields is decisive for the course of the illness and the survival prognosis. There are around 140 different histological types of benign and malignant soft tissue tumours, whereby malignant tumours are most common and are classified as a life-threatening condition.

The quality of treatment begins with the initial presentation of the patient at a clinic or practice, ideally one specialising in sarcoma treatment. Patients with suspected sarcoma follow a specialist treatment pathway .

Treatment Pathway

First, patients are comprehensively examined by Prof. Sauerbier, who has over 20 years of experience in the treatment of sarcoma patients. Diagnosis usually requires an ultrasound examination and MRI to determine the localisation and size of the tumour. 

Depending on the size of the tumour, the next step involves the collection of a tumour biopsy which is then sent for assessment by a pathologist.

If a soft tissue sarcoma (STS) is diagnosed, a reference pathology is usually performed by a pathological institute specialising in sarcomas. The results of the pathological examination are then discussed by an interdisciplinary tumour board comprised of plastic surgeons, oncologists, pathologists, radiology specialists, and surgeons before a treatment pathway is mapped out for the patient. During this phase, it is decided whether radiotherapy or chemotherapy is necessary before or after the surgical removal of the tumour.

During the removal of the tumour, which can be carried out personally by Prof. Sauerbier, a large resection margin is used. This means that the tumour is removed with surrounding healthy soft tissue.

During the procedure, state-of-the-art microsurgical techniques are applied to preserve blood vessels, nerves, bones, and other functionally important structures as far as possible. In the event that this is not deemed possible, plastic surgeons who are highly experienced in the treatment of these types of tumours are on hand to restore function using specialised plastic surgical methods to enable good quality of life. 

In most operations of this type, the defect resulting from the removal of the tumour is covered with a so-called flap, also known as a tissue transplantation.

This tissue transplant helps stabilise the soft tissue area and enables radiotherapy to begin smoothly after the wound healing process is complete.

All soft tissue sarcoma patients are, of course, provided with regular oncological follow-up examinations managed by Prof. Sauerbier.

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