Rhabdomyosarcoma treatment and outcome at a multidisciplinary pediatric cancer center in Lebanon

Maysaa Salman, Hani Tamim, Fouad Medlej, Tarek El-Ariss, Fatima Saad, Fouad Boulos, Toufic Eid, Samar Muwakkit, Nabil Khoury, Miguel Abboud, Raya Saab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in children. Outcome of patients treated on standard protocols, in a multidisciplinary cancer center setting outside of clinical trials, is not well reported. We reviewed characteristics and outcome of 23 pediatric patients treated at a single, multidisciplinary cancer center in Lebanon, between April 2002 and December 2010. Median follow-up was 41 months. The most commonly affected primary site was the head and neck (48%, n = 11). Nineteen tumors (82.6%) were of embryonal histology. Tumor size was ≥5 cm in eight (34.8%) patients. Sixteen patients (69.6%) had localized disease, and one (4.4%) had metastatic disease. Fifteen (65.2%) had Group III tumors. All patients received chemotherapy, for a duration ranging 21-51 weeks. Upfront surgical resection was performed in 10 patients (43.5%). Eighteen patients (78.3%) received radiation therapy. The 5-year overall and disease-free survival rates were 83% and 64%, respectively. Relapse correlated with absence of surgery. Treatment of childhood RMS in a multidisciplinary cancer center in Lebanon results in similar survival to that in developed countries when similar protocols are applied. There was a higher incidence of local relapse, but those were salvageable with further therapy and surgical local control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-334
Number of pages13
JournalPediatric Hematology and Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Multidisciplinary
  • Outcome
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Treatment


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