A fibrosarcoma is a malignant (cancerous) tumor that originates in the
connective fibrous tissue found at the ends of bones of the arm or legs, and
then spreads to other surrounding soft tissues. It is a type of soft tissue tumor; soft tissues include fat, muscles, tendons (bands of fiber that connect
bones to muscle), nerves, joint tissue, blood vessels and other fibrous tissue.
Fibrosarcoma most commonly affects either a lower leg or arm.
There are two forms of fibrosarcoma:
Children with fibrosarcoma are treated
at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's through our Bone and Soft Tissue Program. Our integrated pediatric oncology program offers the
combined expertise of a leading cancer center and a world-renown children’s
The exact cause of fibrosarcoma and other soft tissue tumors is not
entirely understood. However, studies have indicated that genetic alterations
may play a role. Researchers have studied a small number of families that
contain several members from one generation who have developed soft tissue
sarcomas. In addition, limited studies have shown a possible link between soft
tissue sarcomas and the development of other types of cancer. A chromosomal
rearrangement has been found in some fibrosarcomas.
Each child may experience fibrosarcoma symptoms differently, depending
on the size, location and spread of the tumor.
Fibrosarcoma symptoms may include:
may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult a physician
for a diagnosis.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination of
your child, diagnostic procedures for fibrosarcoma may include:
How is fibrosarcoma staged?
Once fibrosarcoma has
been diagnosed, the tumor is staged. This process indicates how far the tumor
has spread from its original location. The stage of a tumor suggests which form
of treatment is most appropriate, and gives some indication of prognosis.
A fibrosarcoma may be localized, meaning it has not spread beyond the bone
where it arose or beyond nearby tissues, or metastatic, meaning it has spread
to lungs, bones other than the bone that the tumor originated in, or to other
organs or structures of the body. Tumors found during infancy are usually not
Specific fibrosarcoma treatment options will be determined by your
child's physician based on:
Fibrosarcoma treatment for children may include:
The type of surgery will depend on the size and location of the tumor, and whether the cancer has spread. At Dana-Farber/Boston Children's, these procedures are performed in the hospital's new state-of-the-art pediatric MR-OR. It allows specialists to take an MRI scan immediately following surgery to ensure the tumor is completely removed and decreases the need for additional surgery.
Prognosis for fibrosarcoma greatly depends on:
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Lisa R. Diller, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's explains how chemotherapy affects children.