Medical College of Wisconsin
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A case of primary CNS embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma with PAX3-NCOA2 fusion and systematic meta-review. J Neurooncol 2021 Sep;154(2):247-256



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85112831225 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   3 Citations


PURPOSE: Primary central nervous system (CNS) rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare mesenchymal tumor predominantly seen in children and associated with a poor outcome. We report a case of primary CNS rhabdomyosarcoma with PAX3-NCOA2 fusion and present a systematic meta-review of primary CNS rhabdomyosarcoma to characterize this rare tumor.

METHODS: We present the case of a 6-year-old boy with primary CNS rhabdomyosarcoma in the posterior fossa. In a systematic meta-review, we compare the demographic data of primary CNS rhabdomyosarcoma with data of rhabdomyosarcoma at all sites from the SEER database and analyze clinical factors associated with survival outcome.

RESULTS: Our patient underwent gross total resection and received vincristine, actinomycin-D, cyclophosphamide with early introduction of concurrent focal radiation and remained alive with no evidence of disease for 2 years after the end of therapy. Histopathological review revealed embryonal-type rhabdomyosarcoma, and whole-transcriptome analysis revealed PAX3 (EX6)-NCOA2 (EX12) fusion. In all, 77 cases of primary CNS rhabdomyosarcoma were identified through the meta-review. The demographic data of primary CNS rhabdomyosarcoma were similar to data of rhabdomyosarcoma at all sites. Overall and event-free survival outcomes were available for 64 and 56 patients, respectively, with a 3-year OS of 29.0% and a 3-year EFS of 25.7%. The group that received trimodal treatment exhibited better survival outcomes, with a 3-year OS of 57.4% and a 3-year EFS of 46.3%.

CONCLUSIONS: Primary CNS rhabdomyosarcoma shares common histological, molecular, and demographic features with non-CNS rhabdomyosarcoma. A trimodal treatment approach with early introduction of radiation therapy may result in favorable survival outcomes.

Author List

Tanaka R, Inoue K, Yamada Y, Yoshida M, Shima H, Ito J, Okita H, Miwa T, Kato M, Shimada H


Ryuma Tanaka MD Assistant Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Central Nervous System Neoplasms
Gene Expression Profiling
Nuclear Receptor Coactivator 2
PAX3 Transcription Factor
Rhabdomyosarcoma, Embryonal