Rhabdomyosarcoma arising in a previously irradiated field: An analysis of 43 patients

Nguyen D. Dang, Bin S. Teh, Arnold C. Paulino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Patients with soft tissue sarcomas that arise from previously irradiated fields have traditionally been reported to have a poor prognosis. In this report, we examined the characteristics and outcomes of patients who developed a rhabdomyosarcoma in a previously irradiated field (RMS-RIF); we hypothesize that these patients should have a better outcome compared to other postradiation soft tissue sarcomas as these tumors are chemosensitive and radiosensitive. A PubMed search of the literature from 1961-2010 yielded 33 studies with data for patients with RMS-RIF. The study included 43 patients with a median age of 6.5 years at the time of radiation therapy (RT) for the initial tumor. The median RT dose was 48 Gy. The median latency period, the time from RT to development of RMS-RIF, was 8 years. The 3-year overall survival for RMS-RIF was 42%. The 3-year overall survival was 66% for patients receiving chemotherapy and local treatment (surgery and/or RT) compared to 29% for those who had systemic treatment only or local treatment only (P=.049). Other factors associated with increased 3-year overall survival included retinoblastoma initial diagnosis (P<.001), age ≤18 years at diagnosis of RMS-RIF (P=.003), favorable site (P=.008), and stage 1 disease (P=.002). Age at time of RMS-RIF, retinoblastoma initial tumor, favorable site, stage 1 disease, and use of both systemic and local treatment were found to be favorable prognostic factors for 3-year overall survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)598-603
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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