Learn About Rhabdomyosarcoma

What is the definition of Rhabdomyosarcoma?

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancerous (malignant) tumor of the muscles that are attached to the bones. This cancer mostly affects children.

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What are the alternative names for Rhabdomyosarcoma?

Soft tissue cancer - rhabdomyosarcoma; Soft tissue sarcoma; Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma; Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma; Sarcoma botryoides

What are the causes of Rhabdomyosarcoma?

Rhabdomyosarcoma can occur in many places in the body. The most common sites are the head or neck, the urinary or reproductive system, and the arms or legs.

The cause of rhabdomyosarcoma is unknown. It is a rare tumor with only several hundred new cases per year in the United States.

Some children with certain birth defects are at an increased risk. Some families have a gene mutation that increases this risk. Most children with rhabdomyosarcoma do not have any known risk factors.

What are the symptoms of Rhabdomyosarcoma?

The most common symptom is a mass that may or may not be painful.

Other symptoms vary depending on location of the tumor.

  • Tumors in the nose or throat may cause bleeding, congestion, swallowing problems, or nervous system problems if they extend into the brain.
  • Tumors around the eyes may cause bulging of the eye, problems with vision, swelling around the eye, or pain.
  • Tumors in the ears, may cause pain, hearing loss, or swelling.
  • Bladder and vaginal tumors may cause trouble starting to urinate or having a bowel movement, or poor control of urine.
  • Muscle tumors may lead to a painful lump, and can be mistaken for an injury.
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What are the current treatments for Rhabdomyosarcoma?

Treatment depends on the site and type of rhabdomyosarcoma.

Either radiation or chemotherapy, or both, will be used before or after surgery. In general, surgery and radiation therapy are used to treat the primary site of the tumor. Chemotherapy is used to treat disease at all sites in the body.

Chemotherapy is an essential part of treatment to prevent spread and recurrence of the cancer. Many different chemotherapy drugs are active against rhabdomyosarcoma. Your provider will discuss these with you.

Who are the top Rhabdomyosarcoma Local Doctors?
Elite
Highly rated in
3
conditions
Hematology Oncology
Pediatrics

Duke Health

Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center

2301 Erwin Rd 
Durham, NC 27705

Corinne Linardic is a Hematologist Oncology specialist and a Pediatrics doctor in Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Linardic is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Rhabdomyosarcoma. She is also highly rated in 3 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Rhabdomyosarcoma, Adult Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Costello Syndrome, and Childhood Iron Deficiency Anemia. She is licensed to treat patients in North Carolina. Dr. Linardic is currently accepting new patients.

Elite
Highly rated in
10
conditions
Pediatric Hematology Oncology
Hematology
Pediatrics

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital-Solid Tumor

262 Danny Thomas Pl 
Memphis, TN 38105

Alberto Pappo is a Pediatric Hematologist Oncology specialist and a Hematologist in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Pappo is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Rhabdomyosarcoma. He is also highly rated in 10 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Rhabdomyosarcoma, Adult Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Osteosarcoma, and Ewing Sarcoma. He is licensed to treat patients in Tennessee. Dr. Pappo is currently accepting new patients.

 
 
 
 
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Elite
Highly rated in
36
conditions
Oncology
Hematology Oncology

Mass General Brigham

Massachusetts General Hospital

55 Fruit St 
Boston, MA 2114

Edwin Choy is an Oncologist and a Hematologist Oncology doctor in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Choy has been practicing medicine for over 22 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Rhabdomyosarcoma. He is also highly rated in 36 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Adult Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Epithelioid Sarcoma, Rhabdomyosarcoma, and Osteosarcoma. He is licensed to treat patients in Massachusetts. Dr. Choy is currently accepting new patients.

What are the support groups for Rhabdomyosarcoma?

The stress of illness can be eased by joining a cancer support group. Sharing with others who have common experiences and problems can help you not feel alone.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Rhabdomyosarcoma?

With intensive treatment, most children with rhabdomyosarcoma are able to survive long-term. Cure depends on the specific type of tumor, its location, and how much it has spread.

What are the possible complications of Rhabdomyosarcoma?

Complications of this cancer or its treatment include:

  • Complications from chemotherapy
  • Location in which surgery is not possible
  • Spread of the cancer (metastasis)
When should I contact a medical professional for Rhabdomyosarcoma?

Call your provider if your child has symptoms of rhabdomyosarcoma.

What are the latest Rhabdomyosarcoma Clinical Trials?
Phase 1/2 Study of Vincristine and Temozolomide in Combination With PEN-866 for Adolescents and Young Adults With Relapsed or Refractory Solid Tumors
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A Randomized Phase 3 Trial of Vinorelbine, Dactinomycin, and Cyclophosphamide (VINO-AC) Plus Maintenance Chemotherapy With Vinorelbine and Oral Cyclophosphamide (VINO-CPO) vs Vincristine, Dactinomycin and Cyclophosphamide (VAC) Plus VINO-CPO Maintenance in Patients With High Risk Rhabdomyosarcoma (HR-RMS)
What are the Latest Advances for Rhabdomyosarcoma?
Case Report: A PD-L1-Positive Patient With Pleomorphic Rhabdomyosarcoma Achieving an Impressive Response to Immunotherapy.
Vaginal tumours in childhood: a descriptive analysis from a large paediatric medical centre.
Tired of the same old research?
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Gross perianal embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma with severe multiple bone metastases throughout the body: a case report.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : February 06, 2020
Published By : Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update 07/23/2020.

What are the references for this article ?

Dome JS, Rodriguez-Galindo C, Spunt SL, Santana VM. Pediatric solid tumors. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Kastan MB, Doroshow JH, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 92.

Goldblum JR, Folpe AL, Weiss SW. Rhabdomyosarcoma. In: Goldblum JR, Folpe AL, Weiss SW, eds. Enzinger and Weiss's Soft Tissue Tumors. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 19.

National Cancer Institute website. Childhood rhabdomyosarcoma treatment (PDQ) health professional version. www.cancer.gov/types/soft-tissue-sarcoma/hp/rhabdomyosarcoma-treatment-pdq. Updated May 7, 2020. Accessed July 23, 2020.