Multidisciplinary treatment of embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma in children
Twenty-nine children under 15 years of age with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma were treated according to a multidisciplinary protocol (T-2). The protocol consisted of surgical removal of the tumor if possible, followed by chemotherapy, and also with radiation therapy in patients with gross or microscopic residual disease. Radiation therapy was given in the 4500-7000 rads range. The chemotherapy consisted of cycles of sequential administration of dactinomycin, Adriamycin, vincristine, and cyclophosphamide, with obligatory periods of rest. The drug therapy was continued for 2 years. Following surgery, clinicopathologic staging of the disease revealed 10 patients with no residual disease (I-A), 5 with microscopic residual disease (I-B), 5 with unresectable tumors (II), 6 with unresectable tumors plus regional lymph node involvement (III), and 3 with disseminated tumors (IV). Twenty-four (82%) of the patients (20 Stages I-II, 4 Stage III) are alive with no evidence of disease for 4 plus to 42 plus months. These results are superior to those achieved between 1960-1970 among 108 children treated at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.