Following treatment for a primary extremity sarcoma, patients remain at risk for the development of local and systemic disease recurrence. Metastasis (distant recurrence) to the lung is the most frequent single location of disease recurrence in sarcoma patients, occurring in almost half of all patients. Therefore, careful post-operative surveillance is an integral element of patient care. However, the detection of metastases does not necessarily affect long-term survival and may negatively impact quality of life. Surveillance strategies have not been well researched and have been identified as the top research priority in the extremity sarcoma field. Using a 2X2 factorial design to maximize efficiency and reduce overall trial costs, the SAFETY trial will randomize 830 extremity soft-tissue sarcoma (STS) patients to determine the effect of surveillance strategy on overall patient survival after surgery for a STS of the extremity by comparing the effectiveness of both surveillance frequency (every 3 vs. every 6 months) and imaging modality (CT scans vs. chest radiographs).
Surveillance AFter Extremity Tumor surgerY (SAFETY) International Randomized Controlled Trial
Post-treatment STS surveillance is an integral element of patient care. Although earlier detection of metastatic disease may improve long-term survival, no study has yet provided definitive evidence to support this assumption. A thorough systematic review of the literature has identified only a single limited randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluating this clinical question, and surveys of sarcoma surgeons have determined that surgeons typically follow their patients based on the way in which they were trained. The orthopaedic oncology field has identified sarcoma surveillance strategy as the top research priority in the field. In order to fill the evidence gap in sarcoma surveillance, a large international RCT is required. The investigators, therefore, propose the Surveillance AFter Extremity Tumor surgerY (SAFETY) trial. In preparation for the SAFETY trial, the SAFETY investigators have completed the following preparatory work: A) establishment of a worldwide research collaborative group that spans 6 continents; B) collection of data from international sarcoma patients to determine their perceptions of sarcoma surveillance and their willingness to participate in a study in which randomization will determine their follow-up protocols; and C) the organization of a large Protocol Development Meeting with international and multidisciplinary participation, including sarcoma patient involvement, where critical aspects of the protocol were discussed and finalized.
The international, multi-center SAFETY trial will determine the effect of surveillance strategy on overall patient survival after surgery for a STS of the extremity by comparing the effectiveness of both surveillance frequency (every 3 vs. every 6 months) and imaging modality (CT scans vs. chest radiographs). Ultimately, the SAFETY trial will provide the necessary evidence to develop evidence-based surveillance guidelines, and is poised to have a significant impact on the post-operative care and outcomes of extremity soft-tissue sarcoma patients.