PROCEDURE: The survival of children with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) has gradually improved as a result of the adoption of multidisciplinary treatments. Dedicated skills and facilities are indispensable and more readily available at reference centers. In this study, we examined the role of centers' experience (based on the number of patients treated) in their management of patients with RMS.
METHODS: We analyzed 342 patients with localized RMS enrolled in the European RMS 2005 protocol from October 2005 to December 2016 at 31 Italian centers that are part of the Soft Tissue Sarcoma Committee (STSC). We grouped the centers by the number of patients each one enrolled (Group 1: >40; Group 2: <40 and >10; and Group 3: <10), and compared a number of indicators to assess the appropriateness of patients' diagnostic workup and treatment and their survival.
RESULTS: Overall, 74.6% of patients were treated at 10 centers, and only three of them classifiable as high-volume centers. Only minor differences emerged between the three patient groups in terms of diagnostic investigations and treatment modalities. Survival was similar in the three groups. Approximately, one in four children treated at the centers in Groups 2 and 3 traveled to another center for surgery or radiotherapy.
CONCLUSION: Patients treated at STSC centers with different amounts of experience had similar results in terms of survival. This is attributable to all centers in the network adhering to protocol recommendations and receiving the STSC's support on diagnostics and multidisciplinary treatments for RMS.
|Journal||Pediatr. Blood Cancer|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2021|