Pediatric Non-Rhabdomyosarcoma Soft Tissue Sarcomas: Standard of Care and Treatment Recommendations from the European Paediatric Soft Tissue Sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG)

Andrea Ferrari, Bernadette Brennan, Michela Casanova, Nadege Corradini, Pablo Berlanga, Reineke A. Schoot, Gema L. Ramirez-Villar, Akmal Safwat, Gabriela Guillen Burrieza, Patrizia Dall’igna, Rita Alaggio, Lisa Lyngsie Hjalgrim, Susanne Andrea Gatz, Daniel Orbach, Max M. van Noesel

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21 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes the standard of care for patients with non-rhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcomas (NRSTS) and the therapeutic recommendations developed by the European paediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG). NRSTS form a very mixed group of mesenchymal extraskeletal malignancies. Their rarity, heterogeneity, and aggressiveness make the management of children and adolescents with these tumors complex and challenging. The overall cure rate for patients with NRSTS is around 70%, but survival depends on several prognostic variables, such as histotype and tumor grade, extent of disease and stage, tumor size, and tumor site. While surgery remains the mainstay of treatment for most of these tumors, a multimodal therapeutic approach including radiotherapy and chemotherapy is required in many cases. The EpSSG NRSTS 2005 study was the first prospective protocol tailored specifically to NRSTS. Together with the ARST0332 study developed by the North-American Soft Tissue Sarcoma Committee of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the EpSSG NRSTS 2005 study currently represents the benchmark for these tumors, establishing risk-adapted standards of care. The EpSSG has developed common treatment recommendations for the large group of adult-type NRSTS (including synovial sarcoma), and specific treatment recommendations for other particular adult-type histologies (ie, alveolar soft-part sarcoma, clear cell sarcoma and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans); other highly malignant tumors with a biology and clinical behavior differing from those of adult-type NRSTS (ie, rhabdoid tumors and desmoplastic small round cell tumor); and soft tissue tumors of intermediate malignancy (ie desmoid-type fibromatosis, inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors, and infantile fibrosarcoma). New effective drugs are needed for patients whose NRSTS carries the worst prognosis, ie, those with unresectable tumors, metastases at diagnosis, or relapsing disease. Progress in this area relies on our ability to develop international integrated prospective collaborations, both within existing pediatric oncology networks and, importantly, between the communities of specialists treating pediatric and adult sarcoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2885-2902
Number of pages18
JournalCancer Management and Research
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • EpSSG
  • non-rhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcomas
  • pediatric
  • recommendations
  • treatment


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