BACKGROUND: The AMORE protocol is a local treatment for patients with nonorbital pediatric head and neck rhabdomyosarcoma (HNRMS). The objectives of this study were: (1) to assess the adequacy of the concept, and (2) to identify factors associated with relapse.
METHODS: We performed a retrospective multidisciplinary review of 22 children primarily treated according to the AMORE protocol, excluding two children with inadequate imaging data.
RESULTS: Seven patients had a local relapse, six within and one outside the residual tumor area. Five of the six patients with relapse in the residual area had gross total or debulking (incomplete) surgery, suboptimal position of the mold for brachytherapy, or both. In the 15 nonrecurrent cases, four patients had either incomplete surgery or suboptimal mold position. Both surgical and brachytherapeutic factors seem to be associated with relapse.
CONCLUSIONS: AMORE is an adequate concept. More rigid preoperative imaging and intraoperative verification of the brachytherapy mold position might lead to a reduction in the number of local failures.