CNS complications of sarcoma
INTRODUCTION Sarcomas originate from embryonic mesenchymal cells. They account for 15% to 20% of pediatric solid tumors and 5% to 10% of all childhood malignancies; they rarely affect adults (1). Central nervous system (CNS) complications of sarcoma have received greater attention in recent years. They are often severe if not fatal, involving the brain (primary or secondary metastases from systemic tumors), the leptomeninges, and the spinal cord through epidural compression. The frequency of CNS involvement of sarcoma has increased due to prolonged patient survival and the resultant increase in late metastatic complications. Additionally, improved and widely used imaging techniques such as CT and MRI have allowed much greater identification of sarcomatous involvement in the CNS. Multiple studies have sought to quantify and qualify the effects of sarcoma on the CNS, and trials regarding their treatment are ongoing. This chapter reviews the most common types of sarcoma that arise in different levels of the CNS.