Malignant Rhabdoid Tumor | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of a malignant rhabdoid tumor?

Often the first sign that a child has a malignant rhabdoid tumor is the discovery of a lump or mass in the child's abdomen. Because these tumors occur most frequently in infants, the child may not show any signs of pain or discomfort beyond fussiness, potentially making early diagnosis difficult. Some children with malignant rhabdoid tumor may have difficulty urinating or blood in the urine.

What causes a malignant rhabdoid tumor?

There is no clear cause of a malignant rhabdoid tumor. Researchers have discovered that a gene called SMARCB1 (this gene also goes by the names INI1SNF5, and BAF47) is mutated in nearly all rhabdoid tumors, including malignant rhabdoid tumors. Mutations in this gene can also sometimes occur in a patient’s normal, non-tumor cells, increasing their risk of developing additional rhabdoid tumors.