Oncology 14(10): 1471-1481, 2000.
Neville HL, Raney RB, Andrassy RJ
The management of pediatric soft-tissue sarcomas has improved drastically through the use of multimodal therapy. These tumors include rhabdomyosarcomas and nonrhabdomyosarcomas. Both are staged using physical, radiographic, and histologic evaluation, and both have intricate staging and grouping systems that correlate closely with prognosis. However, approaches to therapy for the two tumor types remain somewhat different. Rhabdomyosarcomas are treated primarily with chemotherapy. Surgical intervention is limited to initial biopsy, wide local excision when clear margins are feasible, and resection of residual disease. Radiation therapy is reserved for patients with persistent or recurrent disease and may be delivered by external beam or brachytherapy. Nonrhabdomyosarcomas are best treated primarily by surgical resection, although radiation and chemotherapy are now being used with some success. Another major difference concerns evaluation of lymphatics. Nonrhabdomyosarcomas in children frequently behave similarly to adult sarcomas, and less commonly involve regional lymph nodes, whereas pediatric patients with rhabdomyosarcomas often have nodal involvement necessitating surgical evaluation of regional lymph nodes as part of the staging protocol. Multimodal therapy has led to improved survival as well as better functional and cosmetic results. With further clinical trials and improved techniques such as brachytherapy and lymphatic mapping with sentinel node biopsy, we expect to continue to optimize therapy for pediatric patients with soft-tissue sarcomas.
Rheinische Friedrich- Wilhelms- Universität Bonn