BACKGROUND: Alveolar soft part sarcomas (ASPS) are generally chemo- and radio-resistant mesenchymal tumours, with no standardized treatment guidelines. We describe the clinical behaviour of paediatric ASPS and compare these features to previously reported adult series.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: The clinical data of 51 children and adolescents with ASPS, prospectively enrolled in or treated according to seven European Paediatric trials were analysed.
RESULTS: Median age was 13 years [range: 2-21]. Primary sites included mostly limbs (63%). IRS post-surgical staging was: IRS-I (complete resection) 35%, II (microscopic residual disease) 20%, III (gross residual disease) 18% and IV (metastases) 27%. Only 3 of the 18 evaluable patients (17%) obtained a response to conventional chemotherapy. After a median follow-up of 126 months (range: 9-240), 14/18 patients with IRS-I tumour, 10/10 IRS-II, 7/9 IRS-III and 2/14 IRS-IV were alive in remission. Sunitinib treatment achieved two very good partial responses in four patients. Ten-year overall survival (OS) and event free survival (EFS) was 78.0 ± 7% and 62.8 ± 7% respectively. Stage IV, size >5 cm and T2 tumours had a poorer outcome, but only IRS staging was an independent prognostic factor.
CONCLUSIONS: ASPS is a very rare tumour frequently arising in adolescents and in the extremities, and chemo resistant. Local surgical control is critical. ASPS is a poorly chemo sensitive tumour. For IRS-III/IV tumours, delayed radical local therapies including surgery are essential. Metastatic patients had a poor prognosis but targeted therapies showed promising results.