Soft Tissue Sarcomas in Adolescents and Young Adults

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Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology


Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) represent a heterogeneous group of extraskeletal mesenchymal tumors that affect individuals throughout the entire age continuum. Despite this pervasive influence, key differences exist in the presentation of these sarcomas across varying age groups that have prevented a more uniform approach to management. Notably, rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is more common in children, while most nonrhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcoma (NRSTS) subtypes are more prevalent in adults. Older patients with NRSTS appear to have more molecularly complex biology and often present with more advanced disease compared with children. Poorer outcome disparities are observed in older patients with RMS despite receiving similar treatment as younger patients. In this review, we highlight differences in epidemiology, biology, and management paradigms for pediatric and adult patients with STS and explore opportunities for a unified approach to enhance the care and outcomes within the AYA population.

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