Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2021 May:68 Suppl 2:e28254. doi: 10.1002/pbc.28254.


Rhabdomyosarcoma is a heterogeneous disease both in presentation and histology. Improvements in a multimodality therapy resulted in the improved overall survival for patients with a low-risk and intermediate-risk disease but not for patients with a metastatic disease. We reviewed and contrasted the North American and European practice patterns, though ultimately the principles of staging, surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are similar in both Children's Oncology Group and International Society of Paediatric Oncology treatment approaches. Efforts are underway to investigate improved local control rates in higher risk patients using radiation dose escalation strategies, and delayed primary excision in select cases. The prognostic significance of imaging-based chemotherapy response, proton therapy, novel biomarkers, and targeted drugs will be determined in upcoming clinical trials.

Keywords: Rhabdomyosarcoma; chemotherapy; surgery radiation oncology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / pathology
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / therapy*
  • Survival Rate