Comparison of outcomes based on treatment algorithms for rhabdomyosarcoma of the bladder/prostate: combined results from the Children's Oncology Group, German Cooperative Soft Tissue Sarcoma Study, Italian Cooperative Group, and International Society of Pediatric Oncology Malignant Mesenchymal Tumors Committee

Int J Cancer. 2011 Mar 1;128(5):1232-9. doi: 10.1002/ijc.25444.


The purpose of this study was to determine patient characteristics and outcomes for bladder/prostate (BP) rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) using an international cohort of prospectively treated patients comparing different treatment algorithms. Data were collected from 379 patients (1979-1998) treated on protocol; Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study, IRS-IV (n = 239 patients), International Society of Pediatric Oncology Malignant Mesenchymal Tumors (MMT) Committee MMT-84 and -89 (n = 74), Italian Cooperative Group, RMS-79 and RMS-88 Studies (n = 37) or German Cooperative Soft Tissue Sarcoma Study CWS-91 protocols (n = 29). A total of 322 (85%) patients had localized embryonal RMS (ERMS) and 27 had metastatic disease. Thirty patients (21 local disease; 9 metastatic) had nonembryonal BP RMS. Patients with localized ERMS had large tumors (64% >5 cm) that were invasive (54%) with uninvolved regional lymph nodes (N0, 93%). The 5-year failure-free survival (FFS) was 75% and the overall survival (OS) was 84%, with 89% of deaths attributed to disease. Treatment failures were usually local disease recurrence (60%). Predictors of FFS included T-stage (invasiveness), size, and histology. FFS was decreased for patients not receiving initial radiotherapy but this did not translate into a decreased OS. The 21 patients with localized nonembryonal BP RMS had a FFS and OS of 47%. The 36 patients with metastatic disease were more likely to be older and had large tumors that were invasive with alveolar histology and regional lymph node involvement. The 5-year FFS and OS were 41 and 44%, respectively. In conclusion, the majority of BP RMS patients had localized ERMS with a resultant good prognosis using current treatment algorithms. There were differences in FFS between treatment protocols but this did not result in an altered OS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / pathology
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / therapy*