Management of Rhabdomyosarcoma in Pediatric Patients

Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2021 Apr;30(2):339-353. doi: 10.1016/j.soc.2020.11.003. Epub 2021 Jan 27.


Rhabdomyosarcoma is the commonest soft tissue sarcoma in children. Clinicians need vigilance to recognize the different signs and symptoms this tumor can present with because of variable sites of origin. Diagnosis requires a safe biopsy that obtains sufficient tissue for pathologic, genetic, and biological characterization of the tumor. Treatment depends on accurate staging with imaging and surgical sampling of draining lymph nodes. A multidisciplinary team assigns patients to risk-based therapy. Patients require chemotherapy and usually a combination of complex, site-specific surgery and/or radiotherapy. Outcomes for localized rhabdomyosarcoma continue to improve but new treatments are required for metastatic and relapsed disease.

Keywords: Pediatric; Rhabdomyosarcoma; Soft tissue sarcoma; Surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma* / diagnosis
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma* / therapy
  • Sarcoma*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms* / therapy