5 years ago

Infiltrative tumor growth patterns on magnetic resonance imaging associated with systemic inflammation and oncological outcome in patients with high-grade soft-tissue sarcoma

Takao Matsubara, Akihiro Sudo, Tomoki Nakamura, Akihiko Matsumine, Kunihiro Asanuma, Tomohito Hagi, Yuki Yada

by Tomoki Nakamura, Akihiko Matsumine, Takao Matsubara, Kunihiro Asanuma, Yuki Yada, Tomohito Hagi, Akihiro Sudo


The aim of this study was to determine whether the tumor infiltrative growth pattern on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was associated with blood inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein; CRP and Neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio; NLR) and survival in patients with high-grade soft-tissue sarcoma (STS).


The cohort for this retrospective study included 81 patients with a mean age of 63 years. The tumor depth was superficial or deep in 15 and 66 patients, respectively. The mean CRP and NLR were 1.31 mg/dL and 2.81, respectively. The assessment of a peripheral growth pattern which divided into three patterns on MRI was based on the largest midsection of the tumor.


On MRI scans, diffuse-type, focal-type, and pushing-type growth patterns were observed in 18, 33, and 30 patients, respectively. Superficial high-grade STS were prone to show a focal-type pattern on MRI. There were no correlations between growth pattern type and clinicopathological factors such as age, sex, tumor size, and histological grade. However, the incidence of infiltrative growth was significantly higher in patients with elevated CRP (p = 0.0002). In multivariate analysis, growth pattern and CRP were independent prognostic factors for disease-specific survival, metastasis-free survival. Growth pattern was also related to local tumor control.


There were significant associations between the tumor growth pattern and CRP levels in patients with high-grade soft-tissue sarcoma. An infiltrative growth pattern and elevated CRP may be associated with inferior disease-specific and metastasis-free survival rates in these patients. Therefore, careful post-treatment follow-up should be conducted in such patients.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181787

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