Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a rare cancer that forms in soft tissue — specifically skeletal muscle tissue or sometimes in hollow organs such as the bladder or uterus. RMS can occur at any age, but it most often affects children.
Although RMS can arise anywhere in the body, it's more likely to start in the:
- Head and neck area
- Urinary system, such as the bladder
- Reproductive system, such as the vagina, uterus or testes
- Arms and legs
The outlook (prognosis) and treatment decisions depend on the type of rhabdomyosarcoma, where it starts, tumor size and whether the cancer has spread. Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Major advancements in the treatment of rhabdomyosarcoma have significantly improved outcomes. After completion of treatment, people need lifelong monitoring for potential late effects of intense chemotherapy and radiation.
Rhabdomyosarcoma care at Mayo Clinic
April 10, 2018
- Okcu MF, et al. Rhabdomyosarcoma in childhood and adolescence: Epidemiology, pathology, and molecular pathogenesis. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Nov. 30, 2017.
- Okcu MF, et al. Rhabdomyosarcoma in childhood and adolescence: Clinical presentation, diagnostic evaluation, and staging. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Nov. 30, 2017.
- Arndt CAS, et al. Common musculoskeletal tumors of childhood and adolescence. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2012;87:475.
- Okcu MF, et al. Rhabdomyosarcoma in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood: Treatment. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Nov. 30, 2017.
- Childhood rhabdomyosarcoma treatment (PDQ) – Professional version. National Cancer Institute. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK65802/. Accessed Dec. 1, 2017.
- Goldblum JR. Soft tissues. In Rosai and Ackerman's Surgical Pathology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2018. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 1, 2017.
- Rhabdomyosarcoma. Children's Oncology Group. http://www.childrensoncologygroup.org/index.php/rhabdomyosarcoma. Accessed Nov. 10, 2017.
- Wolden SL, et al. Local control for intermediate-risk rhabdomyosarcoma: Results from D9803 according to histology, group, site, and size: A report from the Children's Oncology Group. International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics. 2015;93:1071.
- Lupo PJ, et al. Family history of cancer and childhood rhabdomyosarcoma: A report from the Children's Oncology Group and the Utah Population Database. Cancer Medicine. 2015;4:781.
- What is rhabdomyosarcoma? American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/rhabdomyosarcoma. Accessed Dec. 1, 2017.
- Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Rochester, Minn. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/researchandfunding/extramural/cancercenters/find-a-cancer-center/mayoclinic. Accessed Nov. 11, 2017.
- Ladra MM, et al. Preliminary results of a phase II trial of proton radiotherapy for pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2014;32:3762.
- Possible late and long-term side effects of treatments for rhabdomyosarcoma. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/rhabdomyosarcoma. Accessed Nov. 30, 2017.
- Kearney JA, et al. Standards of psychosocial care for parents of children with cancer. Pediatric Blood & Cancer. 2015;62:S632.
- COG research collaborations. Children's Oncology Group. https://childrensoncologygroup.org/index.php/research-collaborations. Accessed Nov. 20, 2017.
- Taking time: Support for people with cancer. National Cancer Institute. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/taking-time. Accessed Dec. 1, 2017.
- Arndt CA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 21, 2017.
- Childhood rhabdomyosarcoma treatment (PDQ) — Patient version. National Cancer Institute. https://www.cancer.gov/types/soft-tissue-sarcoma/patient/rhabdomyosarcoma-treatment-pdq. Accessed Dec. 1, 2017.
- Rhabdomyosarcoma — childhood. Cancer.Net. https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/rhabdomyosarcoma-childhood. Accessed Sept. 7, 2017.
- Prisco SJ. Financial Planning and Analysis. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 13, 2017.