Pediatric Rhabdomyosarcomas in Tunisia


Introduction: Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in the first two decades of life.Since there is a paucity of reports on the pattern of its occurrence in Tunisia, we here analysed the epidemiologicalpattern, clinical features, and pathology. Design: We retrospectively studied 30 consecutive cases of histologicallyproven rhabdomyosarcoma in children aged 0-15 years extracted from the database of the Cancer Registry ofthe Center of Tunisia for the period 1993-2007.
Results: Rhabdomyosarcomas represented 53.6% of soft tissuesarcomas and 3.8% of all children cancer cases registered during this period. The male/female ratio was 2.7 witha mean age at diagnosis of 5.9 years. The embryonal subtype was the most frequent (60%) and the two mostcommon sites of disease were the head and neck (50%) and genito-urinary tract(23.3%). Chemotherapy wasused in 90% of patients; 43.3% of patients had radical surgery and 26.7% of patients received radiation therapy.
Conclusion: The epidemiology, pathology and clinical features of rhabdomyosarcoma in Tunisian children areclose to those reported from other countries.