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Treating Rhabdomyosarcoma TOPICS

Rhabdomyosarcoma that progresses or recurs after initial treatment

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) that continues to grow during treatment or that comes back once treatment is finished is often hard to treat. The treatment options will depend on a number of factors, including where the cancer comes back, the type of tumor, and previous treatments used.

For tumors that recur in the same spot as the original tumor, surgery may be used if it can be done. If radiation therapy wasn’t part of the initial treatment, it may be tried as well.

In rare cases, surgery may be used for cancers that recur at distant sites, such as if there is a small recurrence in a lung.

Most often, chemotherapy is the best option for distant spread. This might include some of the drugs listed in the “Chemotherapy for rhabdomyosarcoma” section, as well as newer drugs being studied. Because these tumors are hard to treat, clinical trials of newer treatments may be a good option in many cases.

Last Medical Review: 11/20/2014
Last Revised: 11/21/2014