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Childhood Rhabdomyosarcoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Treatment Options for Childhood Rhabdomyosarcoma

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Rhabdomyosarcoma of the area near the testicles

  • Rhabdomyosarcoma of the testicular area is usually treated with surgery to remove the testicle and spermatic cord.
  • The lymph nodes in the back of the abdomen may be checked for cancer, especially if the lymph nodes are enlarged or the child is older than 9 years. Radiation therapy may be given if the tumor cannot be completely removed by surgery. CT scans may be done every 3 months after surgery to see if the cancer is growing in nearby lymph nodes.

Rhabdomyosarcoma of the vulva, vagina, uterus or ovary

  • For tumors of the vulva and vagina: Treatment may include chemotherapy followed by surgery to remove the tumor. Internal or external radiation therapy may be given after surgery.
  • For tumors of the uterus: Treatment may include chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy. Sometimes surgery may be needed to remove any remaining cancer cells.
  • For tumors of the cervix: Treatment may include chemotherapy followed by surgery to remove any remaining tumor.
  • For tumors of the ovary: Treatment may include combination chemotherapy followed by surgery to remove any remaining tumor.

Metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma

  • Radiation therapy may be given for tumors that have spread to the brain, spinal cord, or lungs.

    Treatment is also given to the site where the tumor first formed.

Some of the treatments being studied for rhabdomyosarcoma include the following:

  • A clinical trial of new combinations of anticancer drugs, with and without targeted therapy (monoclonal antibody).
  • A clinical trial of immunotherapy.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with previously untreated childhood rhabdomyosarcoma. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Recurrent Childhood Rhabdomyosarcoma

Treatment options for recurrent childhood rhabdomyosarcoma are based on many factors, including where in the body the cancer has come back, what type of treatment the patient had before, and the needs of the individual child. Treatment may include one or more of the following:

  • Chemotherapy with one or more anticancer drugs.
  • Surgery.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • A clinical trial of new anticancer drugs.
  • A clinical trial of high-dose chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplant using the patient's own stem cells.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with recurrent childhood rhabdomyosarcoma. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: September 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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