Soft Tissue Sarcomas: A 16-Year Experience of a Tertiary Referral Hospital in North Jordan.

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Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania)


Background and Objectives

Sarcomas are rare malignant tumors of mesenchymal origin. Their low prevalence and histological heterogeneity make their diagnosis a challenging task. To the best of our knowledge, the epidemiology of soft tissue sarcomas (STSs) was not well studied in Jordan. This study thus aimed to determine STS epidemiologic trends at King Abdullah University Hospital (KAUH); a tertiary hospital that provides cancer healthcare for 70% of the population in Irbid Governorate, North Jordan. The findings of this study will provide a good reference point of the burden of STSs in Jordan and the Middle East region.

Materials and Methods

All cases with confirmed STS diagnoses who attended KAUH from January 2003 until December 2018 were included in the initial analysis. Bone sarcomas, gastrointestinal stromal tumors and uterine sarcomas were not included in the study. Information collected from the pathology reports and electronic medical records was used to determine STS prevalence, incidence rate, age and gender distributions, histological types and anatomic location. Cases were reviewed by three pathologists with interest in soft tissue tumors. The findings were compared with literature.


In total, 157 STS cases were reported (1.9% of cancers diagnosed at KAUH during the 16-year study period). Crude annual incidence rate (IR) per 100,000 person-years ranged from 0.48 in 2015 to 1.83 in 2011 (average = 1.04). Age-standardized IR (ASR)(World WHO 2000–2025) was 1.37. Male:female ratio was 1.3:1. Median age was 39 years. Age ranged from <1 year to 90 years. Overall STS rates increased with age. The most common histological types were liposarcoma (19%), rhabdomyosarcoma (17%) and leiomyosarcoma (10%). The most common anatomic location was the extremity (40.1%), followed by the trunk (14.7%), then head and neck (10.8%).


STSs are rare in North Jordan. A slight increase in their incidence was identified during the study period similar to global trends. The collection of relevant data on established risk factors along with a broader scale evaluation of the epidemiology of STS in the Middle East region is recommended to better evaluate disease burden and trends.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Female; Humans; Incidence; Infant; Jordan; Male; Sarcoma; Soft Tissue Neoplasms; Tertiary Care Centers

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