Clinicopathologic Features of Childhood Rhabdomyosarcoma and Treatment Outcomes in Ibadan, Nigeria: A 10-year Review

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2021 Jul 1;43(5):e625-e629. doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000002093.


The objectives of this study were to describe the clinicopathologic features and treatment outcomes of childhood rhabdomyosarcoma in a resource-constrained setting. All cases of childhood rhabdomyosarcoma seen over a 10-year period (July 2006 to June 2016) at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria were reviewed. Data were extracted from the database of the pediatric Hematology/Oncology Unit of the hospital and analyzed. Ethical approval was obtained from the Institutional Ethics Committee. Fifty children were seen comprising 30 men and 20 women with bimodal ages of 4 and 5 years. Median duration of illness was 16 weeks and the most common primary tumor site was the head-and-neck region in 27 (54%) of cases. The histologic subtypes were embryonal in 30 (60%), alveolar in 9 (18%), and not specified in 11 (22%). The Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study group TNM Pretreatment stages were stage I in 15 (30%), stage III in 17 (34%), and stage IV in 18 (36%). Treatment included chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy and abandoned in 20 (40%) cases. Median survival was 45 weeks (95% confidence interval: 16.4-73.6) and 5 (10%) patients were alive and disease free, 4 years or more after diagnosis. Outcome of childhood rhabdomyosarcoma is poor and early diagnosis and improved access to treatment are recommended.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Management
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / epidemiology
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / pathology
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome