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Rhabdomyosarcoma (Pediatric)

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What is rhabdomyosarcoma?

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a cancer that develops in soft tissues, specifically in certain kinds of muscles. It may occur anywhere in the body such as the head and neck, urinary or reproductive organs, arms and legs, and other sites like the torso, chest, or pelvis. The etiology of rhabdomyosarcoma is unknown, however, children with rare genetic disorders, such as those with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome or Li-Fraumeni syndrome may be at higher risk. In general, RMS may be categorized as either favorable or unfavorable. Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma—the most common type of RMS—is an example of the former, whereas alveolar, pleomorphic, and undifferentiated are examples of the latter. The management and prognosis of RMS depends on the histologic type, favorable or unfavorable and the stage which describes the cancer’s primary location, and whether it has spread to other body parts.

How is rhabdomyosarcoma diagnosed?

Diagnosis of this condition entails:

  • History
  • Physical examination
  • Radiographic imaging with ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI
  • Biopsy of the suspected PET scan
  • Bone marrow aspirate and biopsy

What is the treatment for rhabdomyosarcoma?

Treatment of this condition may include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Radiation

Our patients with rhabdomyosarcoma may also participate in clinical trials through the Children’s Oncology Group and receive cutting-edge treatments.