Context: The "Standards, Options and Recommendations" (SOR) project, started in 1993, is a collaboration between the Federation of the French Cancer Centres (FNCLCC), the 20 French Cancer Centres and specialists from French Public Universities, General Hospitals and Private Clinics. For pediatric issues, this project is a collaboration between the FNCLCC and the French Society of Pediatric Oncology (SFOP). The main objective is the development of clinical practice guidelines to improve the quality of health care and outcomes for cancer patients. The methodology is based on literature review and critical appraisal by a multidisciplinary group of experts, with feedback from specialists in cancer care delivery.
Objectives: To develop a clinical practice guideline according to the definitions of Standards, Options and Recommendations for the clinical care of rhabdomyosarcoma and other soft tissue sarcoma in children and adolescents.
Methods: Data have been identified by literature search using Medline (1985-may 1997) and experts group personal references lists. The main criteria considered were incidence, risk factors, prognostic factors and efficacy of cancer treatment. Once the guideline was defined, the document was submitted for review to 14 national and international independent reviewers, and to the medical committees of the 20 French Cancer Centres and, in particular the 4 which have expertise in pediatric cancer management, for agreement.
Results: The main recommendations for rhabdomyosarcoma management are: 1/ diagnosis is based on appropriate clinical and radiological findings; 2/ pathological and immunohistochemical studies are essential to confirm the diagnosis; 3/ surgery must be performed by an experienced surgeon. Surgery and radiotherapy must be as conservative as possible; 4/ therapeutic strategies for rhabdomyosarcoma depend on location and extends and are based on chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy. Inclusion of patients in SFOP, SIOP and IRS clinical trials is recommended; 5/ treatment of metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma is based on intensive chemotherapy, and surgery with or without radiotherapy; 6/ the management of non-rhabdomyosarcoma is based on the likelihood of sensitivity to chemotherapy; 7/ at the present time, there are no clear data on which to base guidelines for timing and duration of follow-up studies in these conditions.