Clinical characteristics and the prognosis of childhood rhabdomyosarcoma in 60 patients treated at a single institute

Acta Med Iran. 2011;49(4):219-24.


Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most frequent soft tissue sarcoma in children. The aim of study was to retrospectively review the treatment results of childhood rhabdomyosarcoma and identify prognostic factors. 60 children with rhabdomyosarcoma treated between 1996 and 2002 in Shafa Hospital were reviewed. The data were analyzed for clinico-epidemiological factors. Age, gender, race, histology type, primary site, tumor size and intergroup rhabdomyosarcoma study (IRS) group were evaluated. The primary site of involvement was orbit in 6 cases (10%) head and neck nonparameningial in 12 cases (20%), parameningial region in 12 cases (20%). The histological findings were as follows: 12 cases (72.5%) for embryonal, 6 cases (10%) for alveolar and 11 cases (17. 5%) for botryoid type. With respect to the IRS III (15%) were group II, 32 (52.5%) were group III and 24 cases (40%) were group IV. The 5-year survival rate was 47.9%. Primary tumor site (P=0.0003), and histology (P=0.05) were associated significantly with survival after recurrence. Among the variables, age, gender, regional lymph node involvement, and IRS group did not affect 5-year survival but the type and time of recurrence (P=0.0002), and its relation with therapy (P=0.0001) were associated with survival. This study showed that overall survival for rhabdomyosarcoma is dependent on histological subtype, primary site, disease group, duration of disease before treatment. The outcome for infant with RMS is less satisfactory than older children and the patients aged 1-9 years had the best 5 year survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / pathology
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / therapy*