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.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master's-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: November 20, 2014 Last Revised: November 21, 2014

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