BackgroundAdvanced radiotherapy (RT) techniques allow normal tissue to be spared in patients with extremity soft tissue sarcoma (STS). This work aims to evaluate toxicity and outcome after neoadjuvant image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) as helical intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) with reduced margins based on MRI-based target definition in patients with STS.MethodsBetween 2010 to 2014, 41 patients with extremity STS were treated with IGRT delivered as helical IMRT on a tomotherapy machine. The tumor site was in the upper extremity in 6 patients (15%) and lower extremity in 35 patients (85%). Reduced margins of 2.5cm in longitudinal direction and 1.0cm inaxial direction were used to expand the MRI-defined gross tumor volume, including peritumoral edema, to the clinical target volume. An additional margin of 5mm was added to receive the planning target volume. The full total dose of 50Gy in 2Gy fractions was sucessfully applied in 40 patients. Two patients received chemotherapy instead of surgery due to systemic progression. All patients were included into a strict follow-up program and were seen interdisciplinarily by the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Radiation Oncology.ResultsThirty eight patients that received total RT total dose and subsequent resection were analyzed for outcome. After a median follow-up of 38.5months cumulative OS, local PFS and systemic PFS at 2years were determined at 78.2, 85.2 and 54.5%, respectively. Two of 6 local recurrences were proximal marginal misses. Negative resection margins were achieved in 84% of patients. The rate of major wound complications was comparable to previous IMRT studies with 36.8%. RT was overall tolerable with low toxicity rates.ConclusionsIMRT-IGRT offers neoadjuvant treatment for extremity STS with reduced safety margins and thus low toxicity rates. Wound complication rates were comparable to previously reported frequencies. Two reported marginal misses suggest a word of caution for reduction of longitudinal safety margins.