Patients with completely resected nongenitourinary low-risk embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma are candidates for reduced duration low-intensity chemotherapy

Gianni Bisogno, Joerg Fuchs, Roshni Dasgupta, Andrea Ferrari, Josephine H. Haduong, Timothy Rogers, David O. Walterhouse, Beatrice Coppadoro, Wei Xue, Christian Vokuhl, Douglas S. Hawkins, Guido Seitz, Johannes H.M. Merks, Monika Sparber-Sauer, Rajkumar Venkatramani

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The survival of patients with localized embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) completely resected at diagnosis is greater than 90%. Most patients have paratesticular, uterine, or vaginal RMS, limiting specific analyses of RMS localized in other anatomic regions. This international study was conducted to define the outcome for completely resected embryonal RMS at sites other than paratesticular, uterine, or vaginal primary sites. Methods: A total of 113 patients aged 0–18 years were identified who were enrolled from January 1995 to December 2016 in Children's Oncology Group (COG) (64 patients) and European protocols (49). Genitourinary nonbladder and prostate RMS were excluded. The recommended chemotherapy was vincristine and actinomycin-D (VA) for 24 weeks or ifosfamide plus VA in the European protocols and VA for 48 weeks or VA plus cyclophosphamide in the COG protocols. Results: The most common primary sites were nonparameningeal head and neck (40.7%), other (23.9%), and extremities (20.4%). In the COG studies, 42% of patients received VA and 58% VA plus cyclophosphamide. In Europe, 53% received VA and 47% ifosfamide plus VA. With a median follow-up of 97.5 months, the 5-year progression-free and overall survival was 80.0% (71.2%–86.4%) and 92.5% (85.6%–96.2%), respectively, without significant differences between chemotherapy regimens. Tumor size (< or >5 cm) significantly influenced overall survival: 96.2% (88.6%–98.8%) vs. 80.6% (59.5%–91.4%), respectively (p =.01). Conclusions: Survival of patients with nonalveolar RMS completely resected at diagnosis is excellent among tumors arising from nonparatesticular, uterine, and vaginal sites, and patients may be treated successfully with low-intensity chemotherapy. To reduce the burden of treatment, VA for 24 weeks may be considered in children with tumors <5 cm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4150-4156
Number of pages7
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • chemotherapy
  • embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma
  • extremity rhabdomyosarcoma
  • head and neck rhabdomyosarcoma
  • tumor resection
  • Ifosfamide
  • Humans
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma/drug therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/therapeutic use
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma, Embryonal/drug therapy
  • Female
  • Child


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