Limb salvage for malignant tumors of bone.

F. R. Eilber, A. E. Guiliano, J. F. Huth, J. Eckhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


With the use of preoperative therapy of chemotherapy and radiation, limb salvage has been possible in more than 95% of patients with highly malignant bone tumors. Without preoperative treatment, limb salvage is possible in only 40% of the patients. In our experience, improved limb salvage is a direct result of the preoperative therapy. We are not sure this preoperative therapy is the ideal one, or whether the intraarterial Adriamycin is superior to intravenous administration, or whether the dose of radiation is the proper one, or even whether radiation is necessary at all. These questions remain unanswered at this time. However, the pathologist's evaluation of the excised specimens shows that the preoperative treatment has definite beneficial effect for more than 80% of the patients on this program. Local control is equal with either amputation or limb salvage. Additionally, the overall survival rate is identical for either limb salvage or primary amputation. The major factor for patient survival appears to be the systemic adjuvant chemotherapy. Limb salvage as practiced at UCLA is as effective as amputation for control of malignant bone tumors. The selection of patients for our limb salvage program has not adversely affected the rate of disease progression or ultimate survival. The cosmetic and functional results of limb-salvage surgery is at least comparable to if not better than external prostheses. Finally, the only factor that appears to influence long-term survival in a positive manner is participation in a polydrug postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-37
Number of pages13
JournalProgress in clinical and biological research
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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