INTRODUCTION: Evidence on the use of brachytherapy in soft-tissue sarcoma (STS) is sparse. Therapy regimens are determined more by local interdisciplinary tumor conferences than by standardized protocols. Patient-specific factors complicate the standardized application of therapy protocols. The individuality of the treatment makes it difficult to compare results.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A comprehensive literature search was conducted, whereby the literature from a period of almost 44 years (1977-2021) was graded and included in this systematic review. For this purpose, PubMed was used as the primary database. Search string included "soft-tissue sarcoma", "brachytherapy", and "extremity." Four independent researchers reviewed the literature. Only full-text articles written in English or German were included.
RESULTS: Of the 175 identified studies, 70 were eligible for analysis based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The key points to compare were local complications, recurrence rate and correlation with margins of resection, and the use of brachytherapy regarding tumor grading.
CONCLUSION: Brachytherapy represents an important subset of radiotherapy techniques used in STSs, whose indications and applications are constantly evolving, and for which a local control rate of 50% to 96% has been reported as monotherapy, depending on risk factors. However, the best benefit is seen in the combination of further resection and brachytherapy, and most authors at many other centers agree with this treatment strategy.