Pleomorphic liposarcoma is a malignant, or cancerous, soft-tissue tumor that most commonly occurs intramuscularly or subcutaneously. It is the least common subtype of liposarcomas, however treated similarly to other liposarcomas, including surgical resection or removal of the tumor.
Pleomorphic liposarcoma is a high grade sarcoma of lipogenic (fatty/adipose) origin. It is a type of liposarcoma that has some lipoblasts mixed with mostly high grade pleomorphic appearing spindle cells. Pleomorphic liposarcomas are fast-growing, aggressive cancerous tumors that have the potential to metastasize, most commonly to the lungs. It is the least common subtype of liposarcomas, yet is treated similarly to other liposarcomas with surgical resection of the tumor.
Pleomorphic liposarcoma is a malignant sarcoma that commonly occurs intramuscularly or subcutaneously. Like all soft-tissue sarcomas, these liposarcomas grow in the soft-tissues of the extremities and compromise or destroy the affected soft-tissue and muscles. These tumors can compress or stretch important vessels and nerves, and occasionally wrap around these structures making it difficult to remove the mass without an amputation. They also have the potential to invade adjacent bones. Without treatment, pleomorphic liposarcomas can metastasize or spread throughout the body, with the lungs, liver, and bones being the most common sites. Several risk factors include age, location and depth of the sarcoma, vascular invasion, and incomplete excision of the sarcoma.
Radiographic imaging is used to help form a diagnosis of pleomorphic liposarcoma. These include X-Ray, MRI, CT and Bone Scans.
An example of an MRI is shown.
The treatment of pleomorphic liposarcoma includes surgical excision through wide or radical resections. Limb-sparing surgery is performed whenever possible, however if the tumor compresses, stretches, or is wrapped around vital nerves and vessels then an amputation may be performed. Additionally, radiation and/or chemotherapy may be administered as treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment is beneficial, as there is a poorer prognosis if the cancer has metastasized.
Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment option for some cancers, meaning the chemotherapy drugs travel throughout the body and can kill the cancerous cells that have metastasized, or spread throughout. Chemotherapy is used to treat cancer, control/prevent cancer from spreading, and ease the symptoms related to the cancer. There are various drugs used in chemotherapy, so the combinations of drugs administered and the number of cycles may differ between each person and tumor. Lastly, chemotherapy may be used in conjunction with other treatments, specifically local treatments such as surgery.
Radiation is a treatment option for some cancers. Radiation therapy is a localized treatment that utilizes high-energy particles or waves to kill cancerous cells. Because radiation therapy is a localized treatment, it only affects the area in which it is set to target and therefore eliminates the risks of damaging healthy cells throughout the body. Not only is it used to treat cancer, but it can also decrease the chances of the cancer from recurring. Lastly, radiation may be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy, to treat cancers.
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Patients afflicted with musculoskeletal tumors have complex conditions that are best taken care of at large hospitals. I am the Chairman of Orthopedics and Chief of Orthopedic Oncology at Morristown Medical Center. My philosophy is a multidisciplinary team approach, working together to tailor treatment to individual patients. Education and research are essential to my practice, providing the best setting for extraordinary patient care. Because of this, we have some of the top results in the country.