Combination Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy in Treating Patients with Newly Diagnosed Rhabdomyosarcoma


  • Study type

  • Study phase

  • Study IDs

  • Describes the nature of a clinical study. Types include:

    • Observational study — observes people and measures outcomes without affecting results.
    • Interventional study (clinical trial) — studies new tests, treatments, drugs, surgical procedures or devices.
    • Medical records research — uses historical information collected from medical records of large groups of people to study how diseases progress and which treatments and surgeries work best.
  • During the early phases (phases 1 and 2), researchers assess safety, side effects, optimal dosages and risks/benefits. In the later phase (phase 3), researchers study whether the treatment works better than the current standard therapy. They also compare the safety of the new treatment with that of current treatments. Phase 3 trials include large numbers of people to make sure that the result is valid. There are also less common very early (phase 0) and later (phase 4) phases. Phase 0 trials are small trials that help researchers decide if a new agent should be tested in a phase 1 trial. Phase 4 trials look at long-term safety and effectiveness, after a new treatment has been approved and is on the market.

  • Site IRB
    • Rochester, Minnesota: 06-009658
    NCT ID: NCT00354835
    Sponsor Protocol Number: ARST0531

About this study

This randomized phase III trial is studying two different combination chemotherapy regimens to compare how well they work when given together with radiation therapy in treating patients with newly diagnosed rhabdomyosarcoma. Drugs used in chemotherapy, such as vincristine sulfate, dactinomycin, cyclophosphamide, and irinotecan hydrochloride, work in different ways to stop the growth of tumor cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill tumor cells. Giving combination chemotherapy together with radiation therapy may kill more tumor cells. It is not yet known which combination chemotherapy regimen is more effective when given together with radiation therapy in treating patients with rhabdomyosarcoma.

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. If you need assistance understanding the eligibility criteria, please contact the study team.

See eligibility criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Newly diagnosed embryonal RMS
  • Botryoid or spindle cell variants of embryonal RMS
  • Ectomesenchymoma
  • Alveolar RMS
  • Enrollment on COG-D9902 to confirm local histologic diagnosis with central pathology review is required for all patients
  • Patients may be enrolled on ARST0531 and start protocol treatment prior to receipt of central pathology review results
  • Patient must have Intermediate-risk RMS defined as
    • Embryonal, botryoid, or spindle cell RMS, or ectomesenchymoma: stage 2 or 3 and group III OR
    • Alveolar RMS: stage 1-3 and group I-III
  • Staging ipsilateral retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (SIRLND) is required for all patients ≥ 10 years of age with paratesticular tumors and for patients < 10 years with clinically or radiographically involved lymph nodes (except when extensive lymph node involvement, defined as two or more lymph nodes > 2 cm in dimension, is identified by imaging studies)
  • Regional lymph node sampling or sentinel lymph node procedure is required for histologic evaluation in patients with extremity tumors
  • Clinically or radiographically enlarged nodes should be sampled for histologic evaluation
  • Detection of metastasis by optional FDG PET (not required for study enrollment)
    • FDG PET may detect abnormalities suggestive of metastasis not identified by bone scan, computed tomography (CT), or bone marrow aspiration/biopsy
    • the prognostic significance of FDG PET-detected abnormalities is not clear
    • FDG PET-detected abnormalities MUST be confirmed to be metastases by an additional imaging modality (such as magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] or CT) OR pathologic confirmation
    • unless FDG PET abnormalities are confirmed by another imaging modality or biopsy, FDG PET abnormalities will NOT be considered evidence of metastasis
  • Patients must have a performance status of 0, 1, or 2
    • the Lansky performance score should be used for patients < 16 years 
    • the Karnofsky performance score for patients ≥ 16 years
  • Patients who have received prior chemotherapy (excluding steroids) or radiation therapy, except for patients transferring from ARST0331 (low-risk study), are not eligible
  • Creatinine clearance or radioisotope glomerular filtration rate (GFR) ≥ 70 ml/min/1.73 m^2 or a serum creatinine based on age/gender as follows
    • 1 month to < 6 months: 0.4 mg/dL
    • 6 months to < 1 year: 0.5 mg/dL
    • 1 to < 2 years: 0.6 mg/dL
    • 2 to < 6 years: 0.8 mgt/dL
    • 6 to < 10 years: 1 mg/dL
    • 10 to < 13 years: 1.2 mg/dL
    • 13 to < 16 years: 1.5 mg/dL (males) or 1.4 mg/dL (females)
    • ≥ 16 years: 1.7 mg/dL (males) or 1.4 mg/dL (females)
  • Patients with urinary tract obstruction by tumor must meet the renal function criteria AND must have unimpeded urinary flow established via decompression of the obstructed portion of the urinary tract
  • Total bilirubin ≤ 1.5 x upper limit of normal for age
  • Peripheral absolute neutrophil count (ANC) ≥ 750/uL
  • Platelet count ≥ 75,000/uL (transfusion independent)
  • No evidence of uncontrolled infection
  • Patients must be able to undergo radiation therapy, if necessary, as specified in the protocol
  • Female patients of childbearing potential must have a negative pregnancy test
  • Female patients who are breast feeding must agree to stop breast feeding
  • Sexually active patients of childbearing potential must be willing to use effective contraception during therapy and for at least 1 month after treatment is completed
  • All patients and/or their parents or legal guardians must sign a written informed consent
  • All institutional, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and National Cancer Institute (NCI) requirements for human studies must be met

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact us for help.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Carola A Arndt, M.D.

Closed for enrollment

Contact information:

Cancer Center Clinical Trials Referral Office


Additional contact information

Cancer-related trials contact form

Phone: 855-776-0015 (toll-free)

International patient clinical studies questions