Soft Tissue Tumors

  • Roman M. Sydorak
  • Harry Applebaum


Soft tissue tumors are relatively common in children and run the gamut from frequently seen lipomas to some of the rarest tumors in medicine. All three embryonal layers contribute to this group of tumors, with benign lesions far outnumbering malignant ones. Some of the more interesting benign soft tissue tumors include lipoblastomas, desmoid tumors (fibromatosis), inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMT), and neurofi­bromas. Malignant tumors (sarcomas) comprise 7% of tumors in children. Nearly half of these are rhabdomyosarcomas. The remainder are grouped together as non-rhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcomas (NRSTS), which include neoplasms of smooth muscle (leiomyosarcoma), connective tissue (liposarcoma), vascular tissue (hemangiopericytoma), and the peripheral nervous system (peripheral nerve sheath tumors). Synovial sarcomas, fibrosarcomas, and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors predominate in pediatric patients. NRSTS are more common in adults than in children; therefore, much of the information regarding the natural history and treatment of these lesions has been based on the results of adult studies. However, pediatric NRSTS are often associated with a better outcome than their adult counterparts. This difference is most pronounced for infants and children younger than 4 years, in whom tumors tend to be locally aggressive but not metastatic. These patients have an excellent prognosis when treated with surgical excision only. Soft tissue sarcomas in older children and adolescents often behave similarly to those encountered in adult patients.


Soft Tissue Sarcoma Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Synovial Sarcoma Soft Tissue Tumor Desmoid Tumor 
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Suggested Reading

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  3. Park K, van Rijn R, McHugh K. The role of radiology in paediatric soft tissue sarcomas. Cancer Imaging. 2008;8:102–15.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Womer RB, Pressey JG. Rhabdomyosarcoma and soft tissue sarcoma in childhood. Curr Opin Oncol. 2000;12:337–44.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatric SurgeryKaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA

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