Alveolar soft part sarcoma (ASPS) is a very rare cancer in adolescents and young adults that starts in connective tissues of the body, including fat, muscles and nerves. These slow-growing tumors usually arise in the legs or arms, but can also start in the head or neck.
ASPS may spread to other parts of the body and, in some cases, may be cured with a combination of surgery and radiation therapy. Unfortunately, tumors can often return after treatment, even many years later.
Children and young adults with ASPS are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center through our Bone & Soft Tissue Program. Continue reading to learn more about alveolar soft part sarcoma or visit the Bone & Soft Tissue Program homepage to learn about our expertise and treatment options for this condition.
Because these tumors affect soft tissues, which are elastic and easily moved, a tumor may exist for a long time before being discovered, growing very large and pushing aside surrounding tissue. The most common symptoms include:
In addition to a complete physical examination, doctors diagnose ASPS with:
After all tests are completed, doctors will be able to outline the best treatment options.
Alveolar soft part sarcoma is treated with:
The disease is typically unresponsive to chemotherapy.
Our orthopedic surgeons, clinicians, and families discuss rotationplasty, a surgical option for treating certain bone tumors. It allows a child to avoid full amputation of the leg.