Rhabdomyosarcoma: Nose Presenting As Second Primary with Carcinoma Tongue

Document Type: Case Report


1 Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi (India)-110001.

2 Department of Pathology, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi (India)-110001.


Presence of two primary malignancies is rare and occurs in 3-5% of the cancer patients. As per our extensive internet research, this is the only reported case of a synchronous sino-nasal embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma with squamous cell carcinoma-tongue. The case report is important because of the rare diagnosis and the challenge we faced in the diagnosis and treatment of the patient because of the paucity of literature available on management adult rhabdomyosarcoma.
Case Report:
We present a very rare case of an adult male with a sino-nasal mass diagnosed to be an embryonal type rhabdomyosarcoma. The patient also had a moderately differentiated squamous cell carcinoma-tongue for the past 8 months. Radiological investigations were done to see the extent of the sino-nasal mass and the extent of tongue lesion, which was seen to be involving the base of the tongue. The patient was referred for chemoradiotherapy but succumbed to the disease after 2 weeks of treatment.
Occurrence of rhabdomyosarcoma in synchronous malignancies is extremely rare as the most common first as well as second primary malignancy in a diagnosed case of head and neck cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. A multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of adult rhabdomyosarcoma has been recommended. The combined use of chemoradiotherapy and surgery has improved treatment in the recent past but RMS in adults is still a rare head and neck tumour that carries a poor prognosis despite aggressive therapy.