Childhood Soft Tissue Sarcomas
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Childhood soft tissue sarcomas account for approximately 10% of all childhood cancers. About half of all childhood soft tissue sarcomas are rhabdomyosarcoma, which arises from skeletal muscle, these are most common between the ages of 2 and 6. The other soft tissue sarcomas of childhood include a wide range of different histologies including fibrosarcoma, leiomyosarcoma, liposarcoma, schwannoma, soft tissue Ewing's / peripheral neuroectodermal tumours, synovial sarcoma and many other types. These non-rhabdo sarcomas are more common in adults, but these tumours usually behave quite differently in children compared to the same tumours in adults

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Rhabdomyosarcoma

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Information for Health Professionals / Researchers (6 links)

Latest Research Publications

This list of publications is regularly updated (Source: PubMed).

Sole CV, Calvo FA, Polo A, et al.
Anticipated intraoperative electron beam boost, external beam radiation therapy, and limb-sparing surgical resection for patients with pediatric soft-tissue sarcomas of the extremity: a multicentric pooled analysis of long-term outcomes.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2014; 90(1):172-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To perform a joint analysis of data from 3 contributing centers within the intraoperative electron-beam radiation therapy (IOERT)-Spanish program, to determine the potential of IOERT as an anticipated boost before external beam radiation therapy in the multidisciplinary treatment of pediatric extremity soft-tissue sarcomas.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: From June 1993 to May 2013, 62 patients (aged <21 years) with a histologic diagnosis of primary extremity soft-tissue sarcoma with absence of distant metastases, undergoing limb-sparing grossly resected surgery, external beam radiation therapy (median dose 40 Gy) and IOERT (median dose 10 Gy) were considered eligible for this analysis.
RESULTS: After a median follow-up of 66 months (range, 4-235 months), 10-year local control, disease-free survival, and overall survival was 85%, 76%, and 81%, respectively. In multivariate analysis after adjustment for other covariates, tumor size >5 cm (P=.04) and R1 margin status (P=.04) remained significantly associated with local relapse. In regard to overall survival only margin status (P=.04) retained association on multivariate analysis. Ten patients (16%) reported severe chronic toxicity events (all grade 3).
CONCLUSIONS: An anticipated IOERT boost allowed for external beam radiation therapy dose reduction, with high local control and acceptably low toxicity rates. The combined radiosurgical approach needs to be tested in a prospective trial to confirm these results.

Related: Synovial Sarcoma


Tremblay AM, Missiaglia E, Galli GG, et al.
The Hippo transducer YAP1 transforms activated satellite cells and is a potent effector of embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma formation.
Cancer Cell. 2014; 26(2):273-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
The role of the Hippo pathway effector YAP1 in soft tissue sarcomas is poorly defined. Here we report that YAP1 activity is elevated in human embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS). In mice, sustained YAP1 hyperactivity in activated, but not quiescent, satellite cells induces ERMS with high penetrance and short latency. Via its transcriptional program with TEAD1, YAP1 directly regulates several major hallmarks of ERMS. YAP1-TEAD1 upregulate pro-proliferative and oncogenic genes and maintain the ERMS differentiation block by interfering with MYOD1 and MEF2 pro-differentiation activities. Normalization of YAP1 expression reduces tumor burden in human ERMS xenografts and allows YAP1-driven ERMS to differentiate in situ. Collectively, our results identify YAP1 as a potent ERMS oncogenic driver and a promising target for differentiation therapy.


Altaf S, Enders F, Lyden E, et al.
Age-related toxicity in patients with rhabdomyosarcoma: a report from the children's oncology group.
J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2014; 36(8):599-604 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
On the Fourth Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma study, older children experienced excessive neurotoxicity, whereas younger children had increased myelosuppression. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the same pattern of toxicity was seen on the successor study when use of growth factor was required and dosing of chemotherapy was different by performing a retrospective cohort analysis on patients treated on Children's Oncology Group protocol D9803. Toxicity data were analyzed by stratifying children into 4 age groups. The frequency of grade 3/4 neurotoxicity, myelosuppression, infection, and mucositis was predicted for each age group. The cumulative doses of vincristine and cyclophosphamide administered were measured as percent of protocol-prescribed dose. Adolescents (aged 15+) were more likely to experience neurotoxicity compared with younger patients (odds ratio, 3.6; P<0.0001). There was no difference in myelosuppression, infection, or mucositis. The mean percent protocol-prescribed doses administered for vincristine and cyclophosphamide did not differ much by age group. Adolescents experienced more neurotoxicity with vincristine compared with younger patients. No differences in other toxicities were observed between age groups. As adolescents received at least 85% of protocol-prescribed doses of vincristine, it is difficult to attribute the poorer survival in this age group to inadequate protocol-delivered therapy.

Related: Cyclophosphamide Rhabdomyosarcoma Vincristine


Highfill SL, Cui Y, Giles AJ, et al.
Disruption of CXCR2-mediated MDSC tumor trafficking enhances anti-PD1 efficacy.
Sci Transl Med. 2014; 6(237):237ra67 [PubMed] Related Publications
Suppression of the host's immune system plays a major role in cancer progression. Tumor signaling of programmed death 1 (PD1) on T cells and expansion of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are major mechanisms of tumor immune escape. We sought to target these pathways in rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), the most common soft tissue sarcoma of childhood. Murine RMS showed high surface expression of PD-L1, and anti-PD1 prevented tumor growth if initiated early after tumor inoculation; however, delayed anti-PD1 had limited benefit. RMS induced robust expansion of CXCR2(+)CD11b(+)Ly6G(hi) MDSCs, and CXCR2 deficiency prevented CD11b(+)Ly6G(hi) MDSC trafficking to the tumor. When tumor trafficking of MDSCs was inhibited by CXCR2 deficiency, or after anti-CXCR2 monoclonal antibody therapy, delayed anti-PD1 treatment induced significant antitumor effects. Thus, CXCR2(+)CD11b(+)Ly6G(hi) MDSCs mediate local immunosuppression, which limits the efficacy of checkpoint blockade in murine RMS. Human pediatric sarcomas also produce CXCR2 ligands, including CXCL8. Patients with metastatic pediatric sarcomas display elevated serum CXCR2 ligands, and elevated CXCL8 is associated with diminished survival in this population. We conclude that accumulation of MDSCs in the tumor bed limits the efficacy of checkpoint blockade in cancer. We also identify CXCR2 as a novel target for modulating tumor immune escape and present evidence that CXCR2(+)CD11b(+)Ly6G(hi) MDSCs are an important suppressive myeloid subset in pediatric sarcomas. These findings present a translatable strategy to improve the efficacy of checkpoint blockade by preventing trafficking of MDSCs to the tumor site.

Related: Monoclonal Antibodies CXCL1 Cytokines Rhabdomyosarcoma


Puhaindran ME, Hamilton K, Schlumbohm S, et al.
Radiation-induced osteosarcoma of the hand: case report.
J Hand Surg Am. 2014; 39(6):1151-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
Radiation-associated sarcomas represent less than 5% of all sarcomas and can arise from previously irradiated bone or soft tissue. We report a case of radiation-associated osteosarcoma that developed in the hand of a patient who had previously been treated for synovial sarcoma. Despite aggressive, multimodality treatment, the disease progressed rapidly. This case highlights the need for patients and treating physicians to be aware of this potential complication of radiotherapy to the hand.

Related: Osteosarcoma Synovial Sarcoma


Grimsby GM, Harrison CB
Ewing sarcoma of the scrotum.
Urology. 2014; 83(6):1407-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Nonosseous Ewing sarcoma commonly occurs in the extremities or deep soft tissues. However, cutaneous and subcutaneous locations have been reported. A 3-year-old boy presented with a 2-year history of a painless, slowly growing mid-scrotal mass. Pathology after surgical excision revealed the lesion to be Ewing sarcoma. The patient is free of metastatic disease and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. Soft-tissue malignancies must be kept in the differential diagnosis of any solid paratesticular mass in a child. Although rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common, as this case demonstrates, other rare sarcomas are also possible.

Related: Ewing's Sarcoma Testicular Cancer


Youn P, Milano MT, Constine LS, Travis LB
Long-term cause-specific mortality in survivors of adolescent and young adult bone and soft tissue sarcoma: a population-based study of 28,844 patients.
Cancer. 2014; 120(15):2334-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Despite improved cure rates for bone and soft tissue sarcomas, to the authors' knowledge, no large population-based study to date has evaluated long-term cause-specific mortality in patients diagnosed in the adolescent and young adult (AYA) age range (15 years-39 years).
METHODS: A total of 28,844 survivors of AYA bone and soft tissue sarcoma, who accrued 113,206 person-years of follow-up, were identified in the population-based Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program. Standardized mortality ratios (SMR) and absolute excess risks (AER) (per 10,000 person-years) were calculated to evaluate associations with histology (chemotherapy-sensitive subtypes: Ewing sarcoma, osteosarcoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma vs all other subtypes), age, and initial therapy.
RESULTS: All-cause mortality in survivors of AYA sarcoma was found to be significantly increased compared with that of the general population (SMR, 1.76; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.60-1.92 [AER of 19]), and persisted for > 20 years (SMR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.04-1.82 [AER of 20]). Significant excess mortality was observed for both second malignant neoplasms (SMR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.71-2.43 [AER of 7]) and noncancer causes (SMR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.49-1.85 [AER of 19]). Significant excess deaths occurred among patients with chemotherapy-sensitive (SMR, 2.76; 95% CI, 2.20-3.41 [AER of 32]) and nonchemosensitive (SMR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.47-1.80 [AER of 17]) subtypes. Significantly elevated noncancer mortality in the former group included cardiovascular disease (SMR, 2.33) and infections (SMR, 15.6), whereas significant excess deaths in the latter group included diabetes (SMR, 2.40) and infections (SMR, 2.77).
CONCLUSIONS: Survivors of AYA bone and soft tissue sarcoma experience significant long-term mortality due to second malignant neoplasms and noncancer causes. Further research is needed to develop preventive and surveillance guidelines in this understudied population to prevent and reduce long-term excess mortality.

Related: USA


Liu C, Li D, Jiang J, et al.
Analysis of molecular cytogenetic alteration in rhabdomyosarcoma by array comparative genomic hybridization.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e94924 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common pediatric soft tissue sarcoma with poor prognosis. The genetic etiology of RMS remains largely unclear underlying its development and progression. To reveal novel genes more precisely and new therapeutic targets associated with RMS, we used high-resolution array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) to explore tumor-associated copy number variations (CNVs) and genes in RMS. We confirmed several important genes by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (QRT-PCR). We then performed bioinformatics-based functional enrichment analysis for genes located in the genomic regions with CNVs. In addition, we identified miRNAs located in the corresponding amplification and deletion regions and performed miRNA functional enrichment analysis. aCGH analyses revealed that all RMS showed specific gains and losses. The amplification regions were 12q13.12, 12q13.3, and 12q13.3-q14.1. The deletion regions were 1p21.1, 2q14.1, 5q13.2, 9p12, and 9q12. The recurrent regions with gains were 12q13.3, 12q13.3-q14.1, 12q14.1, and 17q25.1. The recurrent regions with losses were 9p12-p11.2, 10q11.21-q11.22, 14q32.33, 16p11.2, and 22q11.1. The mean mRNA level of GLI1 in RMS was 6.61-fold higher than that in controls (p = 0.0477) by QRT-PCR. Meanwhile, the mean mRNA level of GEFT in RMS samples was 3.92-fold higher than that in controls (p = 0.0354). Bioinformatic analysis showed that genes were enriched in functions such as immunoglobulin domain, induction of apoptosis, and defensin. Proto-oncogene functions were involved in alveolar RMS. miRNAs that located in the amplified regions in RMS tend to be enriched in oncogenic activity (miR-24 and miR-27a). In conclusion, this study identified a number of CNVs in RMS and functional analyses showed enrichment for genes and miRNAs located in these CNVs regions. These findings may potentially help the identification of novel biomarkers and/or drug targets implicated in diagnosis of and targeted therapy for RMS.

Related: CGH Rhabdomyosarcoma


Ansari S, Yousefian S, Miri-Aliabad G, Ramim T
Rhabdomyosarcoma with skin metastasis: report of a case.
Acta Med Iran. 2014; 52(2):170-2 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rhabdomyosarcomas are the most common soft tissue sarcoma in adult and children that accompany with skeletal muscle differentiation. Skin metastasis of rhabdomyosarcomas is unusual and has only been sporadically reported in literature. In this paper we present a case of skin metastasis of rhabdomyosarcoma in an 8-year-old girl that has treated with chemotherapy.

Related: Rhabdomyosarcoma


Rekhi B, Qureshi SS, Narula G, et al.
Rapidly progressive congenital rhabdomyosarcoma presenting with multiple cutaneous lesions: an uncommon diagnosis and a therapeutic challenge.
Pathol Res Pract. 2014; 210(5):328-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
Congenital rhabdomyosarcomas (RMSs) are rare tumors with variable clinical presentations. A 2 month-old, term male neonate (37 weeks, 4 days), weighing 3.2kg, born to a 24 year-old primigravida, by simple vaginal delivery presented with multiple erythematous papulonodular lesions over his trunk that progressed to his whole body, on the first day of delivery. Prior to conception, his mother was treated for polycystic ovarian disease. On the tenth day, his chest computed tomogram scans revealed multiple, heterogeneously enhancing, bilateral pleural-based soft tissue density nodular lesions, along with multiple soft tissue density lesions, involving skeletal muscles of all his body parts. Microsections from two biopsies (on 10th day and after 2 months) revealed a malignant round cell tumor with cells arranged in a diffuse, solid pattern, comprising embryonal and solid alveolar components. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells were diffusely positive for desmin, myoD1 and myogenin. Diagnosis of embryonal and alveolar (mixed type) RMS was offered. Further molecular cytogenetic analysis was negative for PAX3-FKHR and PAX7-FKHR. The patient was induced on chemotherapy as per intergroup rhabdomyosarcoma study IV protocol. There was treatment response with near total remission after 8 weeks of treatment. Thereafter, new lesions started appearing that also disappeared after modification of the chemotherapy drugs. However, after 16 months, the baby died of brain metastasis. The present case forms the fourth case report of an aggressive form of a congenital RMS with extensive cutaneous involvement and brain metastasis. A review of previously diagnosed cases of congenital RMSs is discussed herewith.

Related: Rhabdomyosarcoma Skin Cancer


Kerouanton A, Jimenez I, Cellier C, et al.
Synovial sarcoma in children and adolescents.
J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2014; 36(4):257-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Synovial sarcoma (SS) is a high-grade soft tissue sarcoma characterized by local invasiveness and a propensity to metastasize, affecting pediatric, adolescent, and adult populations. The peak incidence is observed in the third decade of life and SS is the most common nonrhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcoma in childhood and adolescence. Although pediatric and adult SS appear clinically and radiologically identical, treatment modalities may differ according to the patient's age. For many years, pediatric oncologists have treated SS as a chemosensitive tumor according to the "rhabdomyosarcoma philosophy." In contrast, adult oncologists generally treat this tumor as a poorly chemosensitive tumor and focus on local control. The authors propose an update of SS in the pediatric population and analyze their results to those obtained in adults.

Related: Synovial Sarcoma


Seitz G, Dantonello TM, Kosztyla D, et al.
Impact of hemiscrotectomy on outcome of patients with embryonal paratesticular rhabdomyosarcoma: results from the Cooperative Soft Tissue Sarcoma Group Studies CWS-86, 91, 96 and 2002P.
J Urol. 2014; 192(3):902-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Children with paratesticular rhabdomyosarcoma have a favorable prognosis. Surgical treatment problems include inadequate primary transscrotal approaches, incomplete tumor resections and the need for secondary hemiscrotectomy. We evaluated the need for hemiscrotectomy regarding local relapse and outcome.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 173 patients with a diagnosis of paratesticular rhabdomyosarcoma were enrolled in the Cooperative Soft Tissue Sarcoma Studies between 1986 and 2008. Of the patients 17 were excluded due to an incomplete data set and alveolar histology. Thus, a total of 156 patients with embryonal subtype were analyzed. All patients were treated according to study protocols, which included multiagent chemotherapy, tumor resection and/or radiotherapy.
RESULTS: Mean ± SD 5-year overall survival rate was 91.5% ± 2.4% for patients with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma. A total of 28 patients underwent transscrotal approaches initially. Of these patients 12 were treated with hemiscrotectomy (mean ± SD 5-year event-free survival 91.7% ± 8%) and 16 without hemiscrotectomy (93.8% ± 6.1%). Additionally 13 of 156 patients underwent an inguinal approach with hemiscrotectomy due to suspicious tumor infiltration of the scrotal skin (mean ± SD 5-year event-free survival 84.6% ± 10%). Relapse was observed in 3 of 12 patients after transscrotal approach with hemiscrotectomy (locoregional lymph node in 1 and metastasis in 2). One metastatic relapse was observed in the group undergoing a transscrotal approach without hemiscrotectomy. One of 13 patients treated with an inguinal approach and hemiscrotectomy had locoregional relapse and died of disease.
CONCLUSIONS: Hemiscrotectomy seems not to be mandatory in patients after transscrotal approaches regarding outcome and local relapse. Nevertheless, hemiscrotectomy probably should be performed if the scrotal skin is infiltrated.

Related: Testicular Cancer


Rudzinski ER, Anderson JR, Lyden ER, et al.
Myogenin, AP2β, NOS-1, and HMGA2 are surrogate markers of fusion status in rhabdomyosarcoma: a report from the soft tissue sarcoma committee of the children's oncology group.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2014; 38(5):654-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
Pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is traditionally classified on the basis of the histologic appearance into alveolar (ARMS) and embryonal (ERMS) subtypes. The majority of ARMS contain a PAX3-FOXO1 or PAX7-FOXO1 gene fusion, but about 20% do not. Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study stage-matched and group-matched ARMS typically behaves more aggressively than ERMS, but recent studies have shown that it is, in fact, the fusion status that drives the outcome for RMS. Gene expression microarray data indicate that several genes discriminate between fusion-positive and fusion-negative RMS with high specificity. Using tissue microarrays containing a series of both ARMS and ERMS, we identified a panel of 4 immunohistochemical markers-myogenin, AP2β, NOS-1, and HMGA2-which can be used as surrogate markers of fusion status in RMS. These antibodies provide an alternative to molecular methods for identification of fusion-positive RMS, particularly in cases in which there is scant or poor-quality material. In addition, these antibodies may be useful in fusion-negative ARMS as an indicator that a variant gene fusion may be present.

Related: Monoclonal Antibodies HMGA2 gene PAX7 gene MYOG


Lynn M, Shah N, Conroy J, et al.
A study of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma copy number alterations by single nucleotide polymorphism analysis.
Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2014; 22(3):213-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rhabdomyosarcoma, the most common pediatric soft tissue malignancy arises in 2 major histologic forms: embryonal and alveolar. Classically, the alveolar subtype is characterized by a chromosomal translocation t(2;13)(q35;q14) or t(1;13)(p36;q14) fusing the PAX3 or PAX7 gene, respectively, to the FOXO1 gene, although fusion-negative cases of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) occur; these share considerably more with the genomic profiles and biological behavior of embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma than with fusion-positive ARMS. The current understanding of any additional genetic aberrations in fusion-positive ARMS is limited. In this study, we evaluated tumor-specific copy number alterations in a cohort of fusion-positive ARMSs using high-resolution technology. The results presented here include previously described changes as well as completely novel findings of copy number alterations in BCR and DICER. The study furthermore highlights associations between fusion type and genotype, as well as outcomes and genotype. Rearrangement of PAX7 is strongly associated with copy number alteration of Glypican 5 (GPC5) and moderately with amplification of IGF1R. There is a moderate association between death from/relapse of disease and, on the one hand, amplification of 12q13.3 (DDIT3; Gli1), and on the other hand, copy number alteration of Wnt6 or LRP1B. Gains of both LRP1B and Gli1 in turn are strongly associated with MycN amplification.

Related: Chromosome 14 Lung Cancer PAX7 gene IGF1R Rhabdomyosarcoma DICER1 DDIT3 gene LRP1B MYCN (n-myc) BCR gene


Wolf S, Hagl B, Kappler R
Identification of BMP2 as an epigenetically silenced growth inhibitor in rhabdomyosarcoma.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(5):1727-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common soft-tissue sarcoma of infancy and although therapy has improved over the years, mortality is still fairly high. The establishment of new treatments has been hampered by the limited knowledge of the molecular mechanisms driving development of RMS. One characteristic of cancer cells is aberrant DNA methylation, which could lead to silencing of tumor suppressor genes. However, only a few epigenetically silenced genes have been described in RMS so far. We performed an expression profiling analysis of three RMS cell lines that were treated with the demethylating agent 5'-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza‑dC) facilitating re-expression of epigenetically silenced genes. This treatment induced the gene BMP2 (bone morphogenetic protein 2) throughout all cell lines. Detailed methylation analysis of CpG sites in the BMP2 promoter region by bisulfite sequencing and methylation-specific PCR revealed that a high degree of DNA methylation is causatively associated with the suppression of BMP2 in RMS cells. Consequently, treatment of the RMS cell lines with 5-Aza-dC resulted in DNA demethylation of the BMP2 promoter, most prominently in alveolar RMS. Supplementation of recombinant human BMP2 (rhBMP2) led to a reduced viability of RMS cells. Altogether, these findings suggest that suppression of BMP2 by epigenetic silencing may play a critical role in the genesis of RMS, thereby providing a rationale for the development of a new treatment strategy for RMS.

Related: Rhabdomyosarcoma Signal Transduction


Ciarapica R, Carcarino E, Adesso L, et al.
Pharmacological inhibition of EZH2 as a promising differentiation therapy in embryonal RMS.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:139 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a pediatric soft-tissue sarcoma derived from myogenic precursors that is characterized by a good prognosis in patients with localized disease. Conversely, metastatic tumors often relapse, leading to a dismal outcome. The histone methyltransferase EZH2 epigenetically suppresses skeletal muscle differentiation by repressing the transcription of myogenic genes. Moreover, de-regulated EZH2 expression has been extensively implied in human cancers. We have previously shown that EZH2 is aberrantly over-expressed in RMS primary tumors and cell lines. Moreover, it has been recently reported that EZH2 silencing in RD cells, a recurrence-derived embryonal RMS cell line, favors myofiber-like structures formation in a pro-differentiation context. Here we evaluate whether similar effects can be obtained also in the presence of growth factor-supplemented medium (GM), that mimics a pro-proliferative microenvironment, and by pharmacological targeting of EZH2 in RD cells and in RD tumor xenografts.
METHODS: Embryonal RMS RD cells were cultured in GM and silenced for EZH2 or treated with either the S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase inhibitor 3-deazaneplanocin A (DZNep) that induces EZH2 degradation, or with a new class of catalytic EZH2 inhibitors, MC1948 and MC1945, which block the catalytic activity of EZH2. RD cell proliferation and myogenic differentiation were evaluated both in vitro and in vivo.
RESULTS: Here we show that EZH2 protein was abnormally expressed in 19 out of 19 (100%) embryonal RMS primary tumors and cell lines compared to their normal counterparts. Genetic down-regulation of EZH2 by silencing in GM condition reduced RD cell proliferation up-regulating p21Cip1. It also resulted in myogenic-like differentiation testified by the up-regulation of myogenic markers Myogenin, MCK and MHC. These effects were reverted by enforced over-expression of a murine Ezh2, highlighting an EZH2-specific effect. Pharmacological inhibition of EZH2 using either DZNep or MC inhibitors phenocopied the genetic knockdown of EZH2 preventing cell proliferation and restoring myogenic differentiation both in vitro and in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: These results provide evidence that EZH2 function can be counteracted by pharmacological inhibition in embryonal RMS blocking proliferation even in a pro-proliferative context. They also suggest that this approach could be exploited as a differentiation therapy in adjuvant therapeutic intervention for embryonal RMS.

Related: EZH2 gene


Kikuchi K, Hettmer S, Aslam MI, et al.
Cell-cycle dependent expression of a translocation-mediated fusion oncogene mediates checkpoint adaptation in rhabdomyosarcoma.
PLoS Genet. 2014; 10(1):e1004107 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most commonly occurring soft-tissue sarcoma in childhood. Most rhabdomyosarcoma falls into one of two biologically distinct subgroups represented by alveolar or embryonal histology. The alveolar subtype harbors a translocation-mediated PAX3:FOXO1A fusion gene and has an extremely poor prognosis. However, tumor cells have heterogeneous expression for the fusion gene. Using a conditional genetic mouse model as well as human tumor cell lines, we show that that Pax3:Foxo1a expression is enriched in G2 and triggers a transcriptional program conducive to checkpoint adaptation under stress conditions such as irradiation in vitro and in vivo. Pax3:Foxo1a also tolerizes tumor cells to clinically-established chemotherapy agents and emerging molecularly-targeted agents. Thus, the surprisingly dynamic regulation of the Pax3:Foxo1a locus is a paradigm that has important implications for the way in which oncogenes are modeled in cancer cells.

Related: Rhabdomyosarcoma FOXO1A gene PAX3 gene


Zin A, Bertorelle R, Dall'Igna P, et al.
Epithelioid rhabdomyosarcoma: a clinicopathologic and molecular study.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2014; 38(2):273-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common pediatric soft tissue sarcoma and is mostly represented by the embryonal (ERMS) and alveolar (ARMS) histotypes. Whereas ERMS shows variable genetic alterations including TP53, RB1, and RAS mutations, ARMS carries a gene fusion between PAX3 or PAX7 and FOXO1. Epithelioid RMS is a morphologic variant of RMS recently described in adults. Five cases of epithelioid RMS were identified after histologic review of 85 cases of ARMS enrolled in Italian therapeutic protocols. Immunostaining analyses (muscle-specific actin, desmin, myogenin, AP-2β, EMA, cytokeratins, INI-1) and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays to detect MyoD1, myogenin, and PAX3/7-FOXO1 transcripts were performed. In 4 cases DNA sequencing of TP53 was performed; and RB1 allelic imbalance and homozygous deletion were analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Histologically, epithelioid RMS displayed sheets of large cells without rhabdomyoblastic differentiation or anaplasia in 3 and prominent rhabdoid cells in 2; necrosis was evident in 4, often with a geographic pattern. Immunostainings for INI, desmin, myogenin (scattered cells in 4, diffuse in 1) were positive in all; EMA and MNF116 were positive in 2; AP-2β was negative. PAX3/7-FOXO1 transcripts were absent. In all cases RB1 was wild type, and a TP53 mutation at R273H codon was found in 1. All patients are in complete remission, with a median follow-up of 6 years. Epithelioid RMS may occur in children and is probably related to ERMS, as suggested by lack of fusion transcripts, weak staining for myogenin, negative AP-2β, evidence of TP53 mutation (although only in 1 case), and a favorable clinical course.

Related: Rhabdomyosarcoma


Amirian ES, Goodman JC, New P, Scheurer ME
Pediatric and adult malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors: an analysis of data from the surveillance, epidemiology, and end results program.
J Neurooncol. 2014; 116(3):609-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) are rare soft tissue sarcomas that arise predominantly from Schwann cells. Despite the fact that MPNSTs have high local recurrence rates and are generally associated with poor prognosis, little is known about prognostic factors or effective clinical management for this tumor type. The purpose of this study was to describe the distributions of patient and tumor characteristics and to identify predictors of cause-specific survival among MPNST cases reported to SEER between 1973 and 2008. Patient and tumor characteristics were compared between pediatric and adult MPNST cases. Cox regression and tree-based survival analysis were used to examine factors associated with MPNST-related mortality separately among adults and children. A total of 1,315 MPNST cases were isolated from the 1973-2008 SEER dataset. Among pediatric cases, sex, race, and radiation therapy predicted MPNST survival, whereas among adults, tumor site, tumor grade, number of primary tumors, and tumor size were significant predictors. As tumor size at diagnosis/resection may be the only somewhat "modifiable" prognostic factor, future studies should aim to identify biological and social attributes associated with tumor size at diagnosis, separately among individuals with and without NF-1, in order to help identify earlier opportunities for clinical intervention.

Related: USA


Sangiolo D, Mesiano G, Gammaitoni L, et al.
Cytokine-induced killer cells eradicate bone and soft-tissue sarcomas.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(1):119-29 [PubMed] Related Publications
Unresectable metastatic bone sarcoma and soft-tissue sarcomas (STS) are incurable due to the inability to eradicate chemoresistant cancer stem-like cells (sCSC) that are likely responsible for relapses and drug resistance. In this study, we investigated the preclinical activity of patient-derived cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells against autologous bone sarcoma and STS, including against putative sCSCs. Tumor killing was evaluated both in vitro and within an immunodeficient mouse model of autologous sarcoma. To identify putative sCSCs, autologous bone sarcoma and STS cells were engineered with a CSC detector vector encoding eGFP under the control of the human promoter for OCT4, a stem cell gene activated in putative sCSCs. Using CIK cells expanded from 21 patients, we found that CIK cells efficiently killed allogeneic and autologous sarcoma cells in vitro. Intravenous infusion of CIK cells delayed autologous tumor growth in immunodeficient mice. Further in vivo analyses established that CIK cells could infiltrate tumors and that tumor growth inhibition occurred without an enrichment of sCSCs relative to control-treated animals. These results provide preclinical proof-of-concept for an effective strategy to attack autologous sarcomas, including putative sCSCs, supporting the clinical development of CIK cells as a novel class of immunotherapy for use in settings of untreatable metastatic disease.

Related: Cytokines


Chen X, Stewart E, Shelat AA, et al.
Targeting oxidative stress in embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma.
Cancer Cell. 2013; 24(6):710-24 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a soft-tissue sarcoma with molecular and cellular features of developing skeletal muscle. Rhabdomyosarcoma has two major histologic subtypes, embryonal and alveolar, each with distinct clinical, molecular, and genetic features. Genomic analysis shows that embryonal tumors have more structural and copy number variations than alveolar tumors. Mutations in the RAS/NF1 pathway are significantly associated with intermediate- and high-risk embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas (ERMS). In contrast, alveolar rhabdomyosarcomas (ARMS) have fewer genetic lesions overall and no known recurrently mutated cancer consensus genes. To identify therapeutics for ERMS, we developed and characterized orthotopic xenografts of tumors that were sequenced in our study. High-throughput screening of primary cultures derived from those xenografts identified oxidative stress as a pathway of therapeutic relevance for ERMS.


Kohashi K, Yamamoto H, Kumagai R, et al.
Differential microRNA expression profiles between malignant rhabdoid tumor and epithelioid sarcoma: miR193a-5p is suggested to downregulate SMARCB1 mRNA expression.
Mod Pathol. 2014; 27(6):832-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant rhabdoid tumor and epithelioid sarcoma are classified as tumors of uncertain differentiation. However, it is controversial whether these tumors are distinct entities because they share similar histological and immunohistochemical features such as the existence of rhabdoid cells or complete loss of SMARCB1 protein expression. MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs, and it is suggested that knowledge of microRNA expression profiles in cancer may have substantial value for diagnostics. We first analyzed microRNA expression profiles in 13 frozen materials (five malignant rhabdoid tumors, two proximal type epithelioid sarcomas, and six conventional type epithelioid sarcomas) and subsequently examined the specific microRNA expressions in 29 paraffin-embedded materials (8 malignant rhabdoid tumors, 13 proximal type epithelioid sarcomas, and 8 conventional type epithelioid sarcomas) and 13 previously described frozen materials by quantitative RT-PCR. According to the unsupervised hierarchical clustering of microRNA, proximal type epithelioid sarcoma and conventional type epithelioid sarcoma were classified into the same category, whereas malignant rhabdoid tumor was a distinct category from both types of epithelioid sarcoma. In addition, when malignant rhabdoid tumor with SMARCB1 gene alterations and proximal type and conventional type epithelioid sarcoma with no SMARCB1 gene alterations were compared, 56 microRNAs were isolated as being significantly different (ANOVA, P<0.05). Among them, quantitative RT-PCR using frozen and paraffin-embedded materials demonstrated that expression levels of miR193a-5p (P=0.002), which has been suggested to downregulate SMARCB1 mRNA expression, showed statistically different expression levels between malignant rhabdoid tumor and epithelioid sarcoma with no SMARCB1 gene alterations. These results suggest that epithelioid sarcoma, especially proximal type epithelioid sarcoma, and malignant rhabdoid tumor are distinct tumors with respect to the microRNA expression profiles and that miR193a-5p may have an important role in the inhibition of SMARCB1 mRNA expression.

Related: MicroRNAs Malignant Rhabdoid Tumour SMARCB1


Zhang M, Truscott J, Davie J
Loss of MEF2D expression inhibits differentiation and contributes to oncogenesis in rhabdomyosarcoma cells.
Mol Cancer. 2013; 12(1):150 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a highly malignant pediatric cancer that is the most common form of soft tissue tumors in children. RMS cells have many features of skeletal muscle cells, yet do not differentiate. Thus, our studies have focused on the defects present in these cells that block myogenesis.
METHODS: Protein and RNA analysis identified the loss of MEF2D in RMS cells. MEF2D was expressed in RD and RH30 cells by transient transfection and selection of stable cell lines, respectively, to demonstrate the rescue of muscle differentiation observed. A combination of techniques such as proliferation assays, scratch assays and soft agar assays were used with RH30 cells expressing MEF2D to demonstrate the loss of oncogenic growth in vitro and xenograft assays were used to confirm the loss of tumor growth in vivo.
RESULTS: Here, we show that one member of the MEF2 family of proteins required for normal myogenesis, MEF2D, is largely absent in RMS cell lines representing both major subtypes of RMS as well as primary cells derived from an embryonal RMS model. We show that the down regulation of MEF2D is a major cause for the failure of RMS cells to differentiate. We find that MyoD and myogenin are bound with their dimerization partner, the E proteins, to the promoters of muscle specific genes in RMS cells. However, we cannot detect MEF2D binding at any promoter tested. We find that exogenous MEF2D expression can activate muscle specific luciferase constructs, up regulate p21 expression and increase muscle specific gene expression including the expression of myosin heavy chain, a marker for skeletal muscle differentiation. Restoring expression of MEF2D also inhibits proliferation, cell motility and anchorage independent growth in vitro. We have confirmed the inhibition of tumorigenicity by MEF2D in a tumor xenograft model, with a complete regression of tumor growth.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that the oncogenic properties of RMS cells can be partially attributed to the loss of MEF2D expression and that restoration of MEF2D may represent a useful therapeutic strategy to decrease tumorigenicity.

Related: Rhabdomyosarcoma


Yoon JH, Kim H, Lee JW, et al.
Ewing sarcoma/peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumor in the adrenal gland of an adolescent: a case report and review of the literature.
J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2014; 36(7):e456-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ewing sarcoma/peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumors (ES/pPNETs) typically occur in the long or flat bones, the chest wall, extraskeletal soft tissue, or less frequently, in solid organs. They can arise from anywhere in the body; however, ES/pPNETs arising from the adrenal gland are very rare, especially in children and adolescents. Herein, the authors report a case of an ES/pPNET in the adrenal gland of a 17-year-old girl, who was successfully treated with a multimodal treatment, with a brief review of the pertinent literature.

Related: Bone Cancers Ewing's Sarcoma


Hentz C, Barrett W
Efficacy and morbidity of temporary (125)I brachytherapy in pediatric rhabdomyosarcomas.
Brachytherapy. 2014 Mar-Apr; 13(2):196-202 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Rhabdomyosarcomas (RMSs) are the most common soft tissue tumors in the pediatric population. The American Brachytherapy Society provides recommendations for the use of brachytherapy (BRT) in the treatment of soft tissue sarcomas; yet, there are no clearly defined recommendations for the use of adjuvant BRT in treating RMSs in particular. Radiation therapy has an important role in maximizing local control, and BRT has the advantage over external beam radiation therapy of providing a high dose of radiation to the most susceptible area of recurrence, while delivering a lower dose to the surrounding normal tissue.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: This study examines a group of 8 pediatric patients with RMSs who were treated with temporary low-dose-rate (125)I BRT and investigates the efficacy and side effects of such treatment.
RESULTS: The results demonstrate a local recurrence rate of 12.5%, with minimal side effects occurring in the patients who had no prior radiation history. Each patient's side effects are discussed.
CONCLUSIONS: The high efficacy and ease of radiation protection for visitors establishes this as an effective treatment that is logistically convenient for patients and families. This is the first report of patients exclusively with RMSs being treated exclusively with (125)I BRT and demonstrates promising results.

Related: Brachytherapy Rhabdomyosarcoma


O'Neill AF, Dearling JL, Wang Y, et al.
Targeted imaging of Ewing sarcoma in preclinical models using a 64Cu-labeled anti-CD99 antibody.
Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 20(3):678-87 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2015 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Ewing sarcoma is a tumor of the bone and soft tissue characterized by diffuse cell membrane expression of CD99 (MIC2). Single-site, surgically resectable disease is associated with an excellent 5-year event-free survival; conversely, patients with distant metastases have a poor prognosis. Noninvasive imaging is the standard approach to identifying sites of metastatic disease. We sought to develop a CD99-targeted imaging agent for staging Ewing sarcoma and other CD99-expressing tumors.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We identified a CD99 antibody with highly specific binding in vitro and labeled this antibody with (64)Cu. Mice with either subcutaneous Ewing sarcoma xenograft tumors or micrometastases were imaged with the (64)Cu-labeled anti-CD99 antibody and these results were compared with conventional MRI and 2[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) imaging.
RESULTS: (64)Cu-labeled anti-CD99 antibody demonstrated high avidity for the CD99-positive subcutaneous tumors, with a high tumor-to-background ratio, greater than that demonstrated with FDG-PET. Micrometastases, measuring 1 to 2 mm on MRI, were not detected with FDG-PET but were readily visualized with the (64)Cu-labeled anti-CD99 antibody. Probe biodistribution studies demonstrated high specificity of the probe for CD99-positive tumors.
CONCLUSIONS: (64)Cu-labeled anti-CD99 antibody can detect subcutaneous Ewing sarcoma tumors and metastatic sites with high sensitivity, outperforming FDG-PET in preclinical studies. This targeted radiotracer may have important implications for the diagnosis, surveillance, and treatment of Ewing sarcoma. Similarly, it may impact the management of other CD99 positive tumors.

Related: Bone Cancers Ewing's Sarcoma MIC2 Expression in Cancer


Ciarapica R, De Salvo M, Carcarino E, et al.
The Polycomb group (PcG) protein EZH2 supports the survival of PAX3-FOXO1 alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma by repressing FBXO32 (Atrogin1/MAFbx).
Oncogene. 2014; 33(32):4173-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Polycomb group (PcG) proteins regulate stem cell differentiation via the repression of gene transcription, and their deregulation has been widely implicated in cancer development. The PcG protein Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 (EZH2) works as a catalytic subunit of the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) by methylating lysine 27 on histone H3 (H3K27me3), a hallmark of PRC2-mediated gene repression. In skeletal muscle progenitors, EZH2 prevents an unscheduled differentiation by repressing muscle-specific gene expression and is downregulated during the course of differentiation. In rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a pediatric soft-tissue sarcoma thought to arise from myogenic precursors, EZH2 is abnormally expressed and its downregulation in vitro leads to muscle-like differentiation of RMS cells of the embryonal variant. However, the role of EZH2 in the clinically aggressive subgroup of alveolar RMS, characterized by the expression of PAX3-FOXO1 oncoprotein, remains unknown. We show here that EZH2 depletion in these cells leads to programmed cell death. Transcriptional derepression of F-box protein 32 (FBXO32) (Atrogin1/MAFbx), a gene associated with muscle homeostasis, was evidenced in PAX3-FOXO1 RMS cells silenced for EZH2. This phenomenon was associated with reduced EZH2 occupancy and H3K27me3 levels at the FBXO32 promoter. Simultaneous knockdown of FBXO32 and EZH2 in PAX3-FOXO1 RMS cells impaired the pro-apoptotic response, whereas the overexpression of FBXO32 facilitated programmed cell death in EZH2-depleted cells. Pharmacological inhibition of EZH2 by either 3-Deazaneplanocin A or a catalytic EZH2 inhibitor mirrored the phenotypic and molecular effects of EZH2 knockdown in vitro and prevented tumor growth in vivo. Collectively, these results indicate that EZH2 is a key factor in the proliferation and survival of PAX3-FOXO1 alveolar RMS cells working, at least in part, by repressing FBXO32. They also suggest that the reducing activity of EZH2 could represent a novel adjuvant strategy to eradicate high-risk PAX3-FOXO1 alveolar RMS.

Related: Apoptosis FOXO1A gene PAX3 gene EZH2 gene


Sedrak MP, Parker DC, Gardner JM
Low-grade fibromyxoid sarcoma with nuclear pleomorphism arising in the subcutis of a child.
J Cutan Pathol. 2014; 41(2):134-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Low-grade fibromyxoid sarcoma (LGFMS) represents a rare soft tissue tumor that was first characterized in 1987. LGFMS usually presents as a large, deeply situated mass in adults and is characterized by deceptively bland histopathologic features. LFGMS is less common in superficial soft tissue and in children. It is distinctly uncommon for LGFMS to exhibit nuclear pleomorphism. Herein, we present a case of a 10-year-old male who presented with a subcutaneous back mass that displayed features typical for LGFMS as well as scattered large, hyperchromatic and pleomorphic nuclei. The constellation of clinicopathologic features, including the young age of the patient, the small size and superficial location of the tumor and the presence of scattered nuclear pleomorphism are all unusual features for LGFMS. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with a break-apart probe for FUS revealed the presence of a FUS gene rearrangement confirming the diagnosis of LGFMS. This case highlights the importance of maintaining a high index of suspicion for LGFMS even in the context of small, superficially-located tumors, pediatric patients or tumors with scattered nuclear pleomorphism.

Related: FISH Skin Cancer


Senerchia AA, Ribeiro KB, Rodriguez-Galindo C
Trends in incidence of primary cutaneous malignancies in children, adolescents, and young adults: a population-based study.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2014; 61(2):211-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Skin cancer incidence among young adults is rising; however, the epidemiological characteristics of primary cutaneous lymphomas and cutaneous soft tissue sarcomas (CSTS) in individuals <30 years old has not been investigated. We analyzed the incidence and time-trends of primary cutaneous malignancies in children and adolescents/young adults (AYA).
PROCEDURE: SEER-17 and -13 data were used to assess the descriptive epidemiology and time-trends in incidence of primary cutaneous malignancies in children and AYA. SEERStat and Joinpoint softwares were utilized to estimate annual percent changes (APC) in incidence.
RESULTS: In total, 7,814 cases (ASR = 25.66/1,000,000 habitants) of primary skin cancers in <30 years old were diagnosed in 2000-2008. Females had a higher incidence of melanoma (risk ratio (RR) = 1.95; P < 0.001) and a lower risk of developing CSTS (RR = 0.64, P < 0.001). Compared to whites, blacks have a lower incidence of melanoma (RR = 0.03, P < 0.001), and higher risk of CSTS (RR = 2.28, P < 0.001). Melanoma increased in females over a 15-year period (1992-2006) (APC = 2.5, 95%CI = 1.8; 3.2), and the incidence of cutaneous T-cell lymphomas increased over the period 1992-2008 (APC = 9.5, 95% CI = 6.7; 12.4). CSTS incidence decreased among males over the period 1992-1999 (APC = -21.4, 95% CI -27.2; -15.1), particularly due to a decrease in Kaposi sarcoma incidence (AAPC 1992-2008 = -13.6, 95% CI = -22.4;-3.8), although with a notable racial disparity (whites, AAPC = -15.2, 95% CI = -23.2;-6.4; blacks, AAPC = -10.6, 95% CI = -13.2;-7.9).
CONCLUSIONS: Non-melanoma skin cancer is very rare in children and AYA. We have shown variation in time-trends in incidence as well as in incidence patterns by race, sex, age, and histologic type, highlighting the importance of descriptive epidemiology to better understand the characteristics of these malignancies.

Related: Haematological Malignancies & Realted Disorders Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma Melanoma Skin Cancer USA


Friedrich P, Ortiz R, Fuentes S, et al.
Barriers to effective treatment of pediatric solid tumors in middle-income countries: can we make sense of the spectrum of nonbiologic factors that influence outcomes?
Cancer. 2014; 120(1):112-25 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The delivery of effective treatment for pediatric solid tumors poses a particular challenge to centers in middle-income countries (MICs) that already are vigorously addressing pediatric cancer. The objective of this study was to improve the current understanding of barriers to effective treatment of pediatric solid tumors in MICs.
METHODS: An ecologic model centered on pediatric sarcoma and expanded to country as the environment was used as a benchmark for studying the delivery of solid tumor care in MICs. Data on resources were gathered from 7 centers that were members of the Central American Association of Pediatric Hematologists and Oncologists (AHOPCA) using an infrastructure assessment tool. Pediatric sarcoma outcomes data were available, were retrieved from hospital-based cancer registries for 6 of the 7 centers, and were analyzed by country. Patients who were diagnosed from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2009 with osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, and other soft tissue sarcomas were included in the analysis. To explore correlations between resources and outcomes, a pilot performance index was created.
RESULTS: The analyses identified specific deficits in human resources, communication, quality, and infrastructure. The treatment abandonment rate, the proportion of metastatic disease at diagnosis, the relapse rate, and the 4-year abandonment-sensitive overall survival (AOS) rate varied considerably by country, ranging from 1% to 38%, from 15% to 54%, from 24% to 52%, and from 21% to 51%, respectively. The treatment abandonment rate correlated inversely with health economic expenditure per capita (r = -0.86; P = .03) and life expectancy at birth (r = -0.93; P = .007). The 4-year AOS rate correlated inversely with the mortality rate among children aged <5 years (r = -0.80; P = 0.05) and correlated directly with the pilot performance index (r = 0.98; P = 0.005).
CONCLUSIONS: Initiatives to improve the effectiveness of treatment for pediatric solid tumors in MICs are warranted, particularly for pediatric sarcomas. Building capacity and infrastructure, improving supportive care and communication, and fostering comprehensive, multidisciplinary teams are identified as keystones in Central America. A measure that meaningfully describes performance in delivering pediatric cancer care is feasible and needed to advance comparative, prospective analysis of pediatric cancer care and to define resource clusters internationally.


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