Local-regional non-rhabdomyosarcomatous soft tissue sarcomas of the head and neck

James Fontanesi, Charles Pratt, Larry Kun, Omar Hustu, William J. Pao, Edwin Douglass, Irvin Fleming, Bhaskar Rao

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Between 1962 and 1987, 112 consecutive patients were treated at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for soft tissue sarcomas of the head and neck region; 18 of these children (16%) had histologic subtypes other than rhabdomyosarcoma. We evaluated the impact of surgery, postoperative chemotherapy, and irradiation on local control and survival in these cases. Three patients who had complete resection of tumors and received no further treatment are alive without disease at 36, 42, and 162 months. Local control was achieved in 1 of 2 patients with microscopic residual tumor and 4 of 9 patients with gross residual tumor who were treated with irradiation (2500-5040 cGy). Chemotherapy was the only postoperative treatment in three patients; only one achieved lasting local control. One patient was treated with irradiation only; his primary site showed no tumor cells at autopsy following an automobile accident. Overall, local control was achieved in 50% of patients; the disease-free survival rate at 3 years was 44%. The prognosis for patients with nonresectable tumors remains unsatisfactory because of the difficulty in securing local control. A revised therapeutic approach to these patients is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)995-999
Number of pages5
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1990


  • Head and neck tumors
  • Pediatric oncology
  • Sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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