An update in the management of pediatric sarcoma

Curr Opin Pediatr. 2019 Jun;31(3):368-377. doi: 10.1097/MOP.0000000000000767.


Purpose of review: Nonrhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcoma (NRSTS) is a rare subgroup of malignancy in childhood that is composed of a variety of soft tissue and bony tumors. Prognosis for resectable localized disease is usually good and improved with systemic treatment. However, survival from locally advanced and metastatic disease remains poor. There have been numerous preclinical and clinical studies to define histopathology, biology, and genetic alteration of sarcomas. The purpose of this review is to clarify the progress in the management of NRSTS.

Recent findings: Genomic analysis, including the use of next-generation sequencing, has revealed fusion transcripts or specific genetic alterations which provide diagnostic biomarkers and potential targets for novel therapies.

Summary: Most cases are sporadic, but some are associated with genetic predispositions. Most present as a painless mass and diagnosis is frequently delayed because of a low index of suspicion. There is a wide array of histopathological subtypes. Investigations usually involve core, incisional or excisional biopsy for tissue diagnosis, and cross-sectional and nuclear imaging for staging. Management of pediatric sarcoma is largely dependent on the patient's histopathological diagnosis, age, disease stage, and co-morbidities but usually involves a combination of systemic and local therapies. Preclinical studies and phase I/II trials of newer targeted therapies are ongoing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Sarcoma* / diagnosis
  • Sarcoma* / genetics
  • Sarcoma* / therapy
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms* / therapy