Soft tissue sarcomas account for about 1% of all malignancies. The increase in incidence of soft tissue sarcomas during the recent decades may predominantly be attributed to AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma; when this tumor is excluded, conclusive evidence for an age-adjusted increase is lacking. Beside the well investigated role of the human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) and the human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) in the tumorigenesis of AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma and several inherited disorders, considerable evidence support a relationship between occupational chemicals as vinyl chloride, phenoxyacetic acid herbicides, chlorphenols, dioxin, medicinal measures as Thorotrast exposure and therapeutic irradiation, and the development of soft tissue sarcoma. Hormones and chronic repair processes are further probably sarcoma-promoting factors. Considering the rarity of soft tissue sarcomas despite the vast portion that soft tissues comprise in the human body, additional knowledge on the tumorigenesis of soft tissue sarcomas might considerably contribute to the understanding of the etiologic pathways of malignant tumors in humans.

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