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Mentrup, Franziska; Klein, Alexander ORCID: 0000-0002-5562-9872; Lindner, Lars Hartwin; Nachbichler, Silke; Holzapfel, Boris Michael; Albertsmeier, Markus; Knösel, Thomas; Dürr, Hans Roland (2024): Refusal of Adjuvant Therapies and its Impact on Local Control and Survival in Patients with Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcomas of the Extremities and Trunk. Cancers. ISSN 2072-6694

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Abstract: Background: In soft tissue or bone sarcomas, multimodal therapeutic concepts represent the standard of care. Some patients reject the therapeutic recommendations due to several reasons. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of that rejection on both prognosis and local recurrence. Methods: Between 2012 and 2019, a total of 828 sarcoma patients were surgically treated. Chemotherapy was scheduled as a neoadjuvant, and adjuvant multi-agent therapy was performed
following recommendations from an interdisciplinary tumor board. Radiotherapy, if deemed appropriate, was administered either in a neoadjuvant or an adjuvant manner. The recommended type of
therapy, patient compliance, and the reasons for refusal were documented. Follow-ups included local recurrences, diagnosis of metastatic disease, and patient mortality. Results: Radiotherapy was recommended in 407 (49%) patients. A total of 40 (10%) individuals did not receive radiation. A reduction in overall survival and local recurrence-free survival was evident in those patients who declined radiotherapy. Chemotherapy was advised for 334 (40%) patients, 250 (75%) of whom did receive all recommended cycles. A total of 25 (7%) individuals did receive a partial course while 59 (18%) did not receive any recommended chemotherapy. Overall survival and local recurrence-free survival
were reduced in patients refusing chemotherapy. Overall survival was worst for the group of patients who received no chemotherapy due to medical reasons. Refusing chemotherapy for non-medical reasons was seen in 8.8% of patients, and refusal of radiotherapy for non-medical reasons was seen in 4.7% of patients. Conclusions: Divergence from the advised treatment modalities significantly impacted overall survival and local recurrence-free survival across both treatment modalities. There
is an imperative need for enhanced physician-patient communication. Reducing treatment times, as achieved with hypofractionated radiotherapy and with therapy in a high-volume sarcoma center,
might also have a positive effect on complying with the treatment recommendations.

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