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Clinical Note
October 2004

Laryngeal Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma: A Case of Cervical Metastases 13 Years After Treatment and a 25-Year Review of Existing Literature

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery (Drs Sivanandan, Kaplan, and Fee), Pathology (Dr Kong), and Radiation Oncology (Drs Thu-Le and Goffinet), Stanford University Hospital, Stanford, Calif. The authors have no relevant financial interest in this article.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004;130(10):1217-1222. doi:10.1001/archotol.130.10.1217

Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in childhood, the majority of which are of the embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ER) variety. Present day treatment protocols involve a combination of aggressive surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma of the larynx is rare and unlike ER of other regions exhibits excellent response to multimodality treatment without the need for extensive surgery. We report a case of cervical metastases in a 29-year-old man 13 years after treatment of his laryngeal ER. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of late neck metastases in ER of the larynx and the second reported case of delayed presentation of recurrent disease. A 25-year review of all published reports of ER of the larynx was conducted that highlights the move toward organ preservation with the multimodality treatment protocols. Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma of the larynx is highly responsive to combination chemoradiotherapy, allowing for excellent cure rates without the need for extensive surgery. Late relapses warrant long-term follow-up.

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