The role of chemotherapy in childhood soft tissue sarcomas other than rhabdomyosarcomas: Experience of the Northern Israel Oncology Center

M. Weyl Ben Arush, M. Peretz Nahum, I. Meller, O. Ben Itzhak, A. Kuten, R. El Hassid, S. Linn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Forty-three children with nonrhabdomyosarcomatous soft tissue sarcomas (NRSTS) were treated at the Northern Israel Oncology Center in Haifa, Israel, from 1971 to 1996. The male:female ratio was 1.5:1 and the median age of patient was 10 years (range, 3 months-18 years). The most common histopathologic diagnoses were fibrosarcoma (32.5%) and synovial sarcoma (16%). The sites of primary tumor were lower limb (35%), trunk (18%), upper limb (16%), head and neck (16%), and retroperitoneum (11%). By Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study classifications, 13 patients presented as group I, 15 patients as group II, 10 patients as group III, and 5 patients as group IV. Median follow-up time was 63 months (range, 6 months-18 years). The estimated survival after a 5-year period is 72% (SE ± 17) for patients in group I, 75 ± 15% in group II, 90 ± 9% for patients in group III, and 40 ± 21% for patients in group IV. Eleven patients relapsed; 4/6 who developed local relapse were cured and are alive with disease, while 4/5 who developed distant metastases are dead. For the 28 patients who underwent complete resection at diagnosis, the estimated survival after a 5-year period is 87 ± 5% vs. 60 ± 17% for the 15 patients who underwent partial excision or biopsy. Local radiotherapy was delivered after surgery to group III patients. Preoperative and postoperative chemotherapy was delivered to the patients of groups III and IV, and postoperative chemotherapy only to group II patients. Chemotherapy produced demonstrable gain in survival for group II and III patients but not for patients with metastases. The authors conclude that an aggressive surgical approach is needed in patients with NRSTS. Chemotherapy may help as a preoperative treatment in bulky disease or as a postoperative treatment for microscopic residual disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-406
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Hematology and Oncology
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chemotherapy
  • Childhood
  • Nonrhabdomyosarcomatous soft tissue sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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