Pediatric-protocol of multimodal therapy is associated with improved survival in AYAs and adults with rhabdomyosarcoma

Trevan D. Fischer, Shrawan G. Gaitonde, Bradley C. Bandera, Mehul V Raval, Sanjeev A. Vasudevan, Kenneth W. Gow, Elizabeth A. Beierle, John J. Doski, Adam B. Goldin, Monica Langer, Jed G. Nuchtern, Stacey Stern, Leland J. Foshag, Melanie Goldfarb*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Multimodal therapy is the standard treatment for pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma, but for adolescents and young adults (AYAs: ages 15–39) and older adults with rhabdomyosarcoma, the use of adjuvant therapy is variable, and survival is greatly decreased compared with younger patients. Methods: All patients with rhabdomyosarcoma who had a curative operative were identified from the 1998–2012 National Cancer Database. Regression analyses identified independent factors relating to receipt of multimodal therapy (resection + chemotherapy + radiation) and the influence of multimodal therapy on 5-year overall survival. Results: Of 2,312 patients, 44% were pediatric (age < 15 years), 22% AYA (ages 15–39), and 34% adult (age ≥ 40 years). Adults received multimodal therapy least often (pediatric: 62%, AYA: 46%, adults: 24%; P <.001), even after controlling for demographic characteristics, tumor features, and stage. In the entire cohort, multimodal therapy was associated with a decreased risk of death within 5 years (hazard ratio [HR] 0.72, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.62–0.84), with similar findings after stratification by age (pediatric: HR 0.64, 95% CI 0.48–0.85; AYA: HR 0.72, 95% CI 0.55–0.95; adult: HR 0.74, 95% CI 0.58–0.93). In AYAs only, black and Hispanic patients had an increased risk of death within 5 years (black patients: HR 1.64, 95% CI 1.14–2.37; Hispanic patients: HR 1.62, 95% CI 1.11–2.36). Conclusion: This first large national study suggests that multimodal therapy is independently associated with improved survival for both AYAs and adults with rhabdomyosarcoma, similar to pediatric patients, but multimodal therapy is appreciably underused. Implementation of multimodal therapy for all patients could potentially improve overall outcomes of patients with rhabdomyosarcoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-329
Number of pages6
JournalSurgery (United States)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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