Desmoplastic small round cell tumors: Prognostic indicators and results of surgical management

Roderich E. Schwarz, William L. Gerald, Brian H. Kushner, Daniel G. Coit, Murray F. Brennan, Michael P. La Quaglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Scopus citations


Background: Desmoplastic small round cell tumors (DSRCT or DSCT) are rare aggressive cancers of adolescence and early adulthood. There are few reported series to guide clinical therapy. This study correlates survival with treatment variables, including aggressive surgical debulking. Methods: Thirty-two patients with documented DSRCT received treatment at our institution. Demographic, clinical, and treatment variables were correlated with progression-free survival using log-rank statistics. Results: Thirty patients were male (96%), and two were female (4%), with a median age at diagnosis of 22 years. The primary site of disease in 97% of cases was the abdomen or pelvis. Twenty-nine patients (91%) had extensive disease involving peritoneal surfaces, lymph nodes, or discontinuous organs. All 32 patients received systemic chemotherapy. Fifteen (47%) underwent tumor debulking greater than 90% at diagnosis or during therapy. A complete or very good response to therapy occurred in 13 patients, and depended on surgical removal of bulk disease in all. Thirteen patients remained progression-free, but three of these patients died from treatment toxicity. Improved survival was correlated with a complete or very good partial response to multimodality therapy, surgical debulking of more than 90% either before or after chemotherapy, and use of the P6 protocol. Conclusions: DSRCT is an aggressive cancer that occurs predominantly in young males. Improved survival is correlated with intense chemotherapy and aggressive resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-422
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 1998


  • Chemotherapy
  • Desmoplastic small round cell tumor
  • Resection
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Desmoplastic small round cell tumors: Prognostic indicators and results of surgical management'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Schwarz, R. E., Gerald, W. L., Kushner, B. H., Coit, D. G., Brennan, M. F., & La Quaglia, M. P. (1998). Desmoplastic small round cell tumors: Prognostic indicators and results of surgical management. Annals of Surgical Oncology, 5(5), 416-422.