Rhabdomyosarcoma in children: A SEER population based study

Eduardo A. Perez, Noor Kassira, Michael C. Cheung, Leonidas G. Koniaris, Holly L. Neville, Juan E. Sola

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74 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine incidence and outcomes for pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). Methods: The SEER registry was examined for patients with RMS < 20 y old. Results: Overall, 1544 patients were identified for an incidence of 0.4414/100,000 per year. Males outnumbered females 3:2. Tumors were classified as embryonal (67%), alveolar (32%), and pleomorphic (1%). Alveolar and pleomorphic RMS were more common in adolescents, whereas embryonal type was more common in younger children (P = 0.0001). Pleomorphic (47%) and alveolar (39%) RMS commonly presented with distant disease, in contrast to embryonal (25%). Most patients had surgical resection (81%) and radiotherapy (63%). Overall, 5- and 10-y survival was 60% and 57%, respectively. Univariate analysis identified higher survival for age < 10 y, local stage, favorable site, embryonal type, <5 cm tumor size, and surgical resection. Multivariate analysis identified non-embryonal type (HR 1.451), non-favorable site (HR 1.570), no surgery (HR 1.726), age ≥ 10 y (HR 1.734), 1973-1978 diagnosis year (HR 1.730), and distant disease (HR 3.456) as independent predictors of mortality. Conclusions: Embryonal histology, the most common type of pediatric RMS, presents in young children and has better prognosis than alveolar or pleomorphic types. Patients with embryonal tumors, favorable tumor location, age < 10 y, localized disease, and surgical resection have improved survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e243-e251
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • SEER
  • outcomes studies
  • pediatrics
  • rhabdomyosarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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    Perez, E. A., Kassira, N., Cheung, M. C., Koniaris, L. G., Neville, H. L., & Sola, J. E. (2011). Rhabdomyosarcoma in children: A SEER population based study. Journal of Surgical Research, 170(2), e243-e251. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2011.03.001