Rhabdomyosarcoma is a type of cancer that most often begins in the soft tissues of the body including tendons, muscles, nerves, fatty tissue and fibrous tissue, almost anywhere in the body. Although rhabdomyosarcoma only accounts for a small percentage of all childhood cancers, it is the most common sarcoma arising from soft tissues. It most commonly affects children and young adults between the ages of 2 and 25 and is slightly more common in males than females.
The two most common forms of rhabdomyosarcoma are called "alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma" and "embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma." These two forms appear slightly different under a pathologist’s microscope; both are highly malignant and can metastasize (spread) rapidly to other areas of the body including the bone marrow, liver, and lungs. Accurate diagnosis and staging, and prompt, carefully orchestrated therapy are particularly critical when treating rhabdomyosarcoma.
The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital has a multidisciplinary team of experts with the experience and advanced resources to diagnose, analyze and treat rhabdomyosarcoma and other soft tissue sarcomas. Pediatric oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, pathologists, nurse specialists and others at Comer Children’s work together to strive for the best results for children with bone sarcomas.