Soft tissue sarcomas are tumors arising from the muscle or connective tissue of the body. The most common soft tissue sarcoma in children is rhabdomyosarcoma. Other “non-rhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcomas (NRSTS)” are more common in teenagers and young adults. These tumors are treated with a combination of chemotherapy, surgery and/or radiation.
Because these tumors can arise anywhere in the body, surgical care is provided by physicians from multiple different specialties, all working in close collaboration. Members of the orthopedic oncology team, including Dr. Terrence Peabody and Dr. Samer Attar, care for children with tumors arising in the extremities (arms and legs) and pelvis. The otolaryngology, head and neck surgery team, including Drs. Jeff Rastatter, Douglas Johnston and John Maddalozzo care for children with tumors arising in the head and neck region. For those with tumors involving the bladder, prostate or testicular region, the urologic oncology team, led by Dr. Edward Gong provide expert care. Finally, Dr. Timothy Lautz, and the pediatric surgical oncology team care for children with tumors arising from the chest and abdominal region, as well gynecologic organs. They also offer procedures for selective lymph node sampling and excision of pulmonary metastases.
Desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT) is a unique and rare form of soft tissue sarcoma which often presents with widespread dissemination throughout the abdomen in teenage patients. This tumor requires an extensive, meticulous operation to remove all sites of tumor. Lurie Children’s (and Dr. Lautz) is one of few hospitals offering this type of surgery, as well as Heated Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC).
Dr. Lautz is a member of the soft tissue sarcoma committee in the Children’s Oncology Group where he is a study member for multiple ongoing and recently completed clinical trials.