Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors are a type of cancer that occurs in the protective lining of the nerves that extend from the spinal cord into the body. Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors are also called neurofibrosarcomas.

Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors can occur anywhere in the body, but most often occur in the deep tissue of the arms, legs and trunk. Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors tend to cause pain and weakness in the affected area and may also cause a growing lump or mass.

Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors occur more frequently in people with an inherited condition that causes nerve tumors (neurofibromatosis) and in people who have undergone radiation therapy for cancer. However, most people with malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors have no risk factors for the disease.

Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors are typically treated with surgery. In certain cases, radiation therapy and chemotherapy also may be recommended.

Sep. 03, 2014