Alveolar soft part sarcoma (ASPS) is a malignant soft tissue tumor, which are tumors that start in the soft connective tissues of the body such as fat, muscles or nerves. ASPS is slow-growing and usually starts in the legs or arms, although it can also be found in the head and neck. It can spread to other parts of the body and tends to come back years later.
Children and teens with alveolar soft part sarcoma are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's through our Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor Program. Our integrated pediatric
oncology program offers the combined expertise of a leading cancer center and a world-renown children’s hospital.
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 alveolar soft part sarcoma symptoms include:
In addition to a complete physical examination, doctors diagnose ASPS with:
After we complete all necessary tests, our experts meet to review and discuss what they have learned about your child's condition. Then we will meet with you and your family to discuss the results and outline the best treatment options.
Alveolar soft part sarcoma (ASPS) treatment may include:
Surgery is often a first step, allowing doctors to form a complete diagnosis of the tumor type and providing information on the stage of the disease. If your child’s leg or arm is affected, your child may receive:
Radiation therapy can help stop the growth of abnormal cells in specific areas of the body. Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays from a specialized machine to damage or kill abnormal cells. Our doctors use precisely targeted and dosed radiation to kill cancer cells left behind after your child's surgery.
There is potential for blood loss during an operation to remove an alveolar soft part sarcoma because of the abnormal blood vessels that may be involved. As a result, surgery involves very careful planning.
Alveolar soft part sarcoma is typically unresponsive to chemotherapy.
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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.