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Invited Commentary
April 2016

Finding the Common Thread in Rare Diseases

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of General Surgery, Section of Surgical Oncology/Hepatopancreaticobiliary Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Surg. 2016;151(4):355. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.4215

Soft-tissue sarcomas are extremely rare, with an estimated 11 930 new cases in the United States in 2015, representing less than 1% of all new cancer cases.1 They are a heterogeneous group of diseases with more than 80 different histologic types and subtypes that have widely different clinical behaviors and outcomes.2 Leiomyosarcomas involving the inferior vena cava (IVC) are the rarest of the rare; even at tertiary referral centers, no more than approximately 1 case per year is seen.3 In this issue of JAMA Surgery, Roland et al4 describe one of the largest single-institution reviews of leiomyosarcomas arising from the IVC and other vessels, adding to our very limited understanding of these rare diseases.

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