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Norton Children’s Cancer Institute

Talk to a member of our care team about advanced pediatric cancer treatment.

Myxofibrosarcoma, also called MFS for short, is a rare cancer that forms in connective tissue. It typically appears as a small, painless lump under the skin of an arm or leg. It occurs in children but is most common in older adults.

As myxofibrosarcoma grows, the lump can become painful and swollen. Like many childhood and adolescent cancers, myxofibrosarcoma can begin with vague symptoms that can be easily overlooked or attributed to other causes. Consulting with a pediatric cancer specialist offers the best opportunity for early diagnosis and successful treatment.

Myxofibrosarcoma has a five-year survival rate of 68% but also has a high recurrence rate, meaning it is more likely than other cancers to come back. By their nature, long-term survival rates don’t reflect the latest advancements in treatment and may underestimate current survival chances.

Myxofibrosarcoma 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.

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 are active researchers, conducting clinical trials and publishing their discoveries to advance medical knowledge.

By staying at the forefront of research, our physicians are experienced with newly approved therapies for myxofibrosarcoma and can provide access to trials of experimental treatments.

Myxofibrosarcoma Diagnosis and Treatment

As a lump on the skin, myxofibrosarcoma can be difficult to diagnose, especially in children. Experience with different sarcomas and how they appear in children requires physicians with experience and training.

Imaging tests such as a CT scan or MRI can help determine how deep the mass has grown. A biopsy collects a small sample of the tumor either with a needle or surgically for evaluation by pathologists. The physician may recommend a chest X-ray to determine whether the cancer has spread to the lungs.

Treatment includes surgery to remove the tumor and adjacent tissue to reduce the risk of recurrence. Radiation therapy may be used to help shrink the tumor before or after surgery, especially in cases of high-grade (faster growing and spreading cells) myxofibrosarcoma, when the tumor is larger than 2 inches or has grown into deeper tissues. Chemotherapy typically is not used to treat myxofibrosarcoma.

The Norton Children’s Difference

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.

In addition, we are home to:

  • Kentucky’s leading multidisciplinary pediatric brain tumor program
  • Kentucky’s only pediatric apheresis and pediatric photopheresis programs
  • An immunotherapy program
  • One of the country’s largest sickle cell anemia treatment programs
  • Kentucky’s leading Adolescent and Young Adult Program and Transition Clinic
  • Kentucky’s only CAR-T cell therapy treatment for pediatric patients
  • Life after cancer survivorship program
  • Pediatric bleeding and clotting program (hemostasis and thrombosis)

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