Why choose Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff


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  • Experience. Because DSRCTs are rare, not all doctors are experienced in treating them. At Mayo Clinic, you'll find the expertise you need.
  • Expertise and teamwork. Your multispecialty team of experts may include medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, general surgeons and other specialists as needed.
  • Comprehensive cancer center. The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center receives funding from the National Cancer Institute and is designated as a comprehensive cancer center — a recognition for an institution's scientific excellence in research and multispecialty resources that are focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.


Mayo Clinic's Molecular Anatomic Pathology Laboratory helps doctors make a timely and accurate diagnosis of desmoplastic small round cell tumors (DSRCTs). These tumors may require specialized tests for diagnosis, including molecular genetic tests.

In addition, specialists may use some of the following tests and imaging. In tests that involve radiation, specialists carefully monitor doses to avoid the risk of radiation overexposure.

  • Ultrasound. During an ultrasound, a technician moves a wand-like device (transducer) over the surface of your abdomen. High-frequency sound waves form images on a screen that can identify desmoplastic tumors.
  • Computerized tomography (CT). CT scans generate cross-sectional images of the body that can show whether cancer has spread to other tissues or organs. All CT scanners at Mayo Clinic use spiral CT technology, and several CT scanners use multidetector row spiral technology, which creates 3-D images.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI technology uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the area affected by the desmoplastic tumor. This highly sensitive technology can identify small abnormalities.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET). To perform a PET scan, doctors inject a radioactive form of sugar (glucose) into your bloodstream. The scan helps show if a tumor has spread, because tumors typically pick up the sugar and appear on the image as "hot spots."
  • Biopsy. In a biopsy, a pathologist removes a small tissue sample and looks under a microscope for cancer cells. Doctors may use a thin, hollow needle to draw cells from your body (fine-needle aspiration). For a small desmoplastic tumor, the doctor may remove the entire mass during the biopsy.

Read more about ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, PET scan and biopsy.


Doctors may treat desmoplastic small round cell tumors (DSRCTs) with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of these treatments. In addition, some people with DSRCTs are candidates for a stem cell transplant.

  • Surgery. Surgeons will remove the tumor if possible.
  • Chemotherapy. Doctors may give a combination of cancer-fighting drugs before surgery to shrink the tumor or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells, or at both times.
  • Radiation. Like chemotherapy, radiation may be used before or after surgery, or when the tumor cannot be safely removed. Depending on the tumor's size, shape and location, specialists may treat it using 3-D conformal radiation therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) or intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT).
  • Stem cell transplant. People with DSRCTs requiring a stem cell transplant (also called bone marrow transplant or blood and marrow stem cell transplant) receive stem cells from their own bodies (autologous stem cell transplant). High-dose chemotherapy is given before the stem cell infusion.

Read more about stem cell transplant.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked high performing for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

Mayo Clinic: Answers you can trust

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

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