Fibrosarcoma of the head and neck
Treatment & Care
What's the treatment for fibrosarcomas?
- Surgery may be all that is needed to treat an infant with this condition.
- Radiation (explained further below) is not generally used for tumors in the extremities because it may interfere with proper bone growth.
- Chemotherapy (also discussed below), which is very effective on this type of tumor, may be used in infants if appropriate resection of the tumor with wide surrounding margins of healthy tissue is not possible.
Older children with this condition are more likely to undergo a combination or surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment.
Surgery for a fibrosarcoma involves the biopsy, surgical removal of the tumor and bone/skin grafts. The type of surgery will depend on the size and location of the tumor, and whether the cancer has spread.
"We perform these procedures in the hospital's new state-of-the-art pediatric MR-OR. It will allow us to take an MRI scan immediately following surgery to ensure the tumor was completely removed and decrease the need for additional surgery."
--Reza Rahbar, DMD, MD about nasal glioma surgery and new MRI facility
Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that works by interfering with the cancer cell's ability to grow or reproduce.
While chemotherapy can be quite effective in treating certain cancers, the agents don't differentiate normal healthy cells from cancer cells.
Because of this, there can be many adverse side effects during treatment. Being able to anticipate these side effects can help the care team, parents, and child prepare, and, in some cases, prevent these symptoms from occurring, if possible.
Chemotherapy is systemic treatment, meaning it is introduced to the bloodstream and travels throughout the body to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be given:
- as a pill to swallow
- as an injection into the muscle or fat tissue
- intravenously (directly to the bloodstream)
- intrathecally (directly into the spinal column with a needle)
Rehabilitation includes physical and occupational therapy along with psychosocial
Supportive care s any type of treatment to prevent and treat infections, side effects of treatments, and complications, and to keep your child comfortable during
Continual follow-up care
A schedule of follow-up care will be determined by your child's physician and other members of your care team to monitor ongoing response to treatment and possible late effects of treatment.
What is the long-term outlook for patients with fibroosarcoma?
Prognosis for fibrosarcoma greatly depends on:
- the extent of the disease
- the size and location of the tumor
- presence or absence of metastasis
- the tumor's response to therapy
- the age and overall health of your child
- your child's tolerance of specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- new developments in treatment
Every child is unique and treatment and prognosis is structured around your child's needs. Prompt medical attention and aggressive therapy are important for the best prognosis.
What is the recommended long-term care for children treated for fibrosarcoma?
Children should visit a survivorship clinic every year to:
- manage disease complications
- screen for early recurrence of cancer
- manage late effects of
A typical follow-up visit may include some or all of the following:
- a physical exam
- laboratory testing
Through the David B. Perini, Jr. Quality of Life Clinic at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, childhood cancer survivors receive a comprehensive follow-up evaluation from their cancer care team.
- Our childhood cancer survivorship clinic is held weekly.
- In addition to meeting with your pediatric oncologists, your child may see one of our endocrinologists, cardiologists, neurologists, neuro-psychologists or alternative/complementary therapy specialists.
We also offer the following services:
- patient and family education
- psychosocial assessment
- genetic counseling
- reproductive and fertility evaluation and counseling
- opportunities to speak with other childhood cancer survivors