Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma | Diagnosis & Treatment

How are alveolar soft part sarcomas diagnosed?

In addition to a complete physical examination, doctors diagnose alveolar soft part sarcoma (ASPS) with:

After we complete all necessary tests, our experts meet to review and discuss what they have learned about your child's condition. Then we will meet with you and your family to discuss the results and outline the best treatment options.

What are the treatment options for ASPS?

Alveolar soft part sarcoma treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy or arterial embolization.

Surgery

Surgery is often a first step, allowing doctors to form a complete diagnosis of the tumor type and providing information on the stage of the disease. If your child’s leg or arm is affected, your child may receive limb-salvage surgery — to help preserve the limb by removing the tumor and wide margins of healthy tissue surrounding the tumor, rotationplasty — a partial amputation that preserves a cancer-free lower leg, attaches it to the thighbone, and uses the ankle as a knee joint or amputation surgery — which, in rare cases, may be necessary, for example, if it involves the nerves and blood vessels.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy can help stop the growth of abnormal cells in specific areas of the body. Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays from a specialized machine to damage or kill abnormal cells. Our doctors use precisely targeted and dosed radiation to kill cancer cells left behind after your child's surgery.

Arterial embolization

There is potential for blood loss during an operation to remove an alveolar soft part sarcoma because of the abnormal blood vessels that may be involved. As a result, surgery involves very careful planning. In some cases, before both you and your child's treatment team decide on surgery, a radiologist may perform a procedure called arterial embolization. This blocks the blood flow in the abnormal vessels that are involved with the tumor. This reduces the risk of bleeding during surgery. To determine whether your child can undergo arterial embolization without complications, your doctor may use an angiogram, a special X-ray that helps doctors to visualize the involved blood vessels. Alveolar soft part sarcoma is typically unresponsive to chemotherapy.