Late effects after treatment of twenty children with soft tissue sarcomas of the head and neck. Experience at a single institution with a review of the literature

Cancer. 1986 May 15;57(10):2070-6. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19860515)57:10<2070::aid-cncr2820571032>;2-g.


Twenty children with soft tissue sarcomas of the head and neck, treated at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania from 1972 to 1981, were evaluated for the late deleterious effects of treatment. All patients received radiation therapy and combination chemotherapy with vincristine, dactinomycin, and cyclophosphamide; certain patients also received Adriamycin (doxorubicin). All had ophthalmologic, otologic, growth, and cosmetic evaluations; 15 also had dental and maxillofacial examinations. The median age at diagnosis was 6 years (range, 7 months-13 years). Median follow-up from time of diagnosis was 5.5 years with a minimum of 3 years in all but four patients. The major problems encountered were related to the eyes (xerophthalmia and cataracts), ears (hearing loss), teeth (maleruption and caries), glandular structures (xerostomia, hypopituitarism), and development (craniofacial deformity). It is concluded that children treated for soft tissue sarcomas of the head and neck with combined modality therapy, including radiation enhancers, may show a variety of late treatment-related adversities. These children require close multidisciplinary follow-up for detection of late effects in order that appropriate prophylactic or symptomatic treatment can be instituted to minimize their consequences.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dentition / drug effects
  • Dentition / radiation effects
  • Facial Injuries / etiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Growth / drug effects
  • Growth / radiation effects
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Hearing / drug effects
  • Hearing / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects*
  • Sarcoma / therapy*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Vision, Ocular / drug effects
  • Vision, Ocular / radiation effects