The extraordinary challenge of treating patients with congenital rhabdoid tumors—a collaborative European effort

EU-RHAB consortium

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Congenital rhabdoid tumors are rare and highly aggressive malignancies. In general, patients are considered to be incurable and are often treated using an exclusive, primarily palliative approach. Methods: A prospective and retrospective collection of 42 patients from the European Rhabdoid Registry (EU-RHAB), France and Moscow (2006–2016) diagnosed within the first 28 days of life was evaluated. Genetic and clinical reference evaluation included SMARCB1 and/or SMARCA4 (fluorescence-in-situ-hybridization, multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification, and sequencing) mutation analysis and immunohistochemistry. Forty-eight percent (20/42) of patients were treated according to the EU-RHAB therapy, 7% (3/42) according to the pilot approach Rhabdoid 2007, 33% (14/42) with individual schedules, and 12% (5/42) received no chemotherapy at all. Results: Forty point five percent (17/42) of patients presented with extracranial rhabdoid tumors, 33.5% (14/42) with rhabdoid tumors of the central nervous system (atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor), and the remainder 26% (11/42) demonstrated synchronous tumors. Metastases at diagnosis were present in 52% (22/42) of patients. A germline mutation was detected in 66% (25/38) and was associated with a poor prognosis (4.2 ± 4.1% vs. 48 ± 16.4%, P < 0.00005). A gross total resection (GTR) was realized in 17%. A GTR (42.9 ± 18.7% vs. 4.9 ± 4.3%, P = 0.04), therapy according to a standardized approach (20.9 ± 8.7% vs. 7.1 ± 6.9 %, P = 0.0018), and a complete remission (CR) (23.6 ± 9.8% vs. 1.3 ± 3.6%, P = 0.04) were significant prognostic factors. Conclusions: The management of patients with congenital rhabdoid tumors requires a major multidisciplinary effort. In many instances, cure is not possible and a palliative approach is warranted. Our data indicate a positive impact of standardized therapeutic approaches on survival, making a tailored approach toward affected patients and their families mandatory.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere26999
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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