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Congenital, or infantile, fibrosarcoma tends to form in the connective tissue at the ends of arm and leg bones, but it can also form in the bones themselves. It is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in babies and usually is seen at birth or shortly after, although ultrasound may detect the tumor before birth.
The cause of infantile fibrosarcoma isn’t known, but cells typically have a genetic variation. Infantile fibrosarcoma is not a benign tumor, and it can be large and fast-growing. Fortunately, it rarely spreads, or metastasizes, to other parts of the body.
Infantile fibrosarcoma has an excellent cure rate, with 80% to 100% of patients surviving more than five years. Fibrosarcomas in older children and adults are highly malignant and require more aggressive treatment.
Fibrosarcoma has the best chance of being cured when it’s treated by pediatric cancer specialists. Young adults may benefit from treatment at a children’s hospital instead of an adult-service hospital because of the care team’s expertise specifically in childhood diseases.
A coordinated treatment approach among specialist physicians is an important factor in early detection and therapy.
The board-certified and fellowship-trained oncologists at Norton Children’s Cancer Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, come together at regular conferences to share viewpoints from various perspectives that help determine the best course of treatment. It’s like getting second, third and fourth opinions all at once.
Our physicians actively conduct clinical trials and publish their discoveries about new ways to identify and treat sarcomas and other pediatric cancers.
By staying at the forefront of research, our physicians are experienced with newly approved therapies and can provide access to trials of experimental treatments.
MRI or a similar imaging scan is the first step in diagnosing infantile fibrosarcoma after a physical exam suggests its presence. If the scan suggests the child has a soft tissue malignancy, a biopsy will be performed. In this procedure, a small sample of the tumor is removed by a needle, however surgery may be required to retrieve a larger sample. The biopsied tissue is then examined by a pathologist to determine a diagnosis.
The main treatment for infantile fibrosarcoma is surgical removal of the tumor and, in some cases, removal of healthy surrounding tissue to reduce the risk of recurrence. Radiation therapy typically is used after removal of larger tumors to further reduce the risk of recurrence. Chemotherapy typically is not used unless the patient has advanced fibrosarcoma.
Norton Children’s Hospital’s cancer care program is one of the oldest oncology programs in the U.S. that has been continuously accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer. Backed by nearly 60 years of pediatric expertise, we have a proven cancer care team of more than 200 leading cancer specialists, including oncologists, surgeons, nurses, social workers, chaplains, behaviorists, therapists and pharmacists. This skilled, multidisciplinary team is entirely focused on the needs of your child and family.
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