Treatments for recurrent rhabdomyosarcoma

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Recurrent rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) means that the cancer comes back after it has been treated. The following are treatment options for recurrent RMS.

Treatments for recurrent RMS may be based on:

  • where in the body the cancer comes back
  • what treatments the child has already had
  • the child's age and overall health

Treatment for recurrent RMS may involve surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of these treatments.

Surgery may be used to remove a tumour that comes back in the same spot as the original tumour. Sometimes surgery may be used to remove cancer that recurs in the lungs, lymph nodes or elsewhere.

Chemotherapy is often used to treat RMS that comes back in a different part of the body than the original tumour. The drugs given will depend on what the child has already received.

Radiation therapy may be used to treat recurrent RMS if it wasn't already given to the area where the cancer comes back.

Clinical trials

Children with cancer may be treated in a clinical trial. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, find and treat cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.

Expert review and references

  • Paul Nathan, MD, MSc, FRCPC
  • Normand Laperriere, MD, FRCPC