Pediatric soft tissue sarcomas: From chemotherapy to targeted therapy

Soledad Gallego Melcón*, Josep Roma Castanyer, José Sánchez De Toledo Codina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review


Aims: To summarize present guidelines for the treatment of pediatric soft tissue sarcoma and review current therapeutic strategies adopted by collaborative groups working on this topic. The experience in targeted therapies that could play a role in the future treatment of these tumors is also reviewed. Background: Soft tissue sarcomas in children and adolescents constitute a heterogeneous group of rare tumors, representing 8-10% of all malignant tumors in this age group. The most common soft tissue sarcoma in childhood is rhabdomyosarcoma, which represents 50% of all soft tissue sarcomas, with an approximate annual incidence of six cases per million children under the age of 16 years. Results: Treatment strategies in soft tissue sarcoma include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. All patients with rhabdomyosarcoma should receive chemotherapy and, in many cases, neoadjuvant therapy reduces the burden of local therapy while minimizing the adverse effects of radical surgery or radiotherapy. Other soft tissue sarcomas are less sensitive to chemotherapy; however, some histotypes such as synovial sarcoma appear to respond better to chemotherapy than in adults. Conclusions: Soft tissue sarcomas in children and adolescents are rare diseases that require a multidisciplinary approach based on surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. For patients with poor prognosis, there is a role for new targeted drugs in combination with chemotherapy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)156-164
Number of pages9
JournalCancer and Chemotherapy Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Chemotherapy
  • Children
  • Non-rhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcoma
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Soft tissue sarcoma
  • Targeted cancer therapy


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