Multimodality treatment of desmoplastic small round cell tumor: Chemotherapy and complete cytoreductive surgery improve patient survival

Vivek Subbiah, Salah Eddine Lamhamedi-Cherradi, Branko Cuglievan, Brian A. Menegaz, Pamela Camacho, Winston Huh, Vandhana Ramamoorthy, Pete M. Anderson, Raphael E. Pollock, Dina C. Lev, Wei Qiao, Mary Frances McAleer, Robert S. Benjamin, Shreyaskumar Patel, Cynthia E. Herzog, Najat C. Daw, Barry W. Feig, Alexander J. Lazar, Andrea Hayes-Jordan, Joseph A. Ludwig*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT), which harbors EWSR1-WT1 t(11;22)(p13:q12) chromosomal translocation, is an aggressive malignancy that typically presents as intra-abdominal sarcomatosis in young males. Given its rarity, optimal treatment has not been defined. Experimental Design: We conducted a retrospective study of 187 patients with DSRCT treated at MD Anderson Cancer Center over 2 decades. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed. We determined whether chemotherapy, complete cytoreductive surgery (CCS), hyperthermic intraperitoneal cisplatin (HIPEC), and/or whole abdominal radiation (WART) improve overall survival (OS) in patients with DSRCT. Critically, because our institutional practice limits HIPEC and WART to patients with less extensive, potentially resectable disease that had benefited from neoadjuvant chemotherapy, a time-variant analysis was performed to evaluate those adjunct treatment modalities. Results: The pre-2003 5-year OS rate of 5% has substantially improved to 25% with the advent of newer chemotherapies and better surgical and radiotherapy techniques (HR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.29-0.75). Chemotherapy response (log rank P ¼ 0.004) and CCS (log rank P < 0.0001) were associated with improved survival. Although WART and HIPEC lacked statistical significance, our study was not powered to detect their potential impact upon OS. Conclusions: Improved 3- and 5-year OS were observed following multidisciplinary treatment that includes Ewing sarcoma (ES)-based chemotherapy and complete tumor cytoreductive surgery, but few if any patients are cured. Prospective randomized studies will be required to prove whether HIPEC or WART are important. In the meantime, chemotherapy and CCS remain the cornerstone of treatment and provide a solid foundation to evaluate new biologically targeted therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4865-4873
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


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