Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors in children: A single- institution twenty-year experience

Michela Casanova, Andrea Ferrari, Filippo Spreafico, Roberto Luksch, Monica Terenziani, Graziella Cefalo, Maura Massimino, Lorenza Gandola, Fabrizio Lombardi, Franca Fossati-Bellani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A retrospective series of pediatric patients with localized malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST) treated during a 20-year period at one institution is reported. Between 1976 and 1996, 24 consecutive children were treated by a multimodality approach. Conservative surgery was the treatment of choice: primary radical surgery was performed in 10. Postoperative radiotherapy was administered in 12 and adjuvant chemotherapy in 19. Eight patients were alive without evidence of disease, six in first complete remission and two in second complete remission, after a median follow-up of 230 months. The 10-year event-free survival (EFS) and survival were 29% and 41%, respectively. Survival was 80% for the patients who underwent radical surgery, and 14% for the others; 71% for patients with tumors smaller than 5 cm, and 29% for those with tumors 5 cm or larger. Local recurrence was the major cause for treatment failure (13 of 17; 76%); the rate of local relapse was 33% v 75% in patients who either received or did not receive radiotherapy. Complete surgical excision remains the most effective treatment for MPNST and represents the main prognostic factor along with tumor size. Radiotherapy seems to play a role in achieving local control, whereas the role of chemotherapy is uncertain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-513
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999


  • Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors
  • Pediatric cancer
  • Soft tissue sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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