Soft tissue sarcomas are a group of cancers that develop from cells of connective tissue. These include cells that make up our muscles, fat, lining of joints and blood vessels. Soft tissue sarcomas can therefore develop almost anywhere in the body.
The most common type of soft tissue sarcoma is called a rhabdomyosarcoma, which forms from early cell types (called rhabdomyoblasts) that make up skeletal muscles. Rhabdomyosarcomas are more common in younger children (under 10 years of age), although they can also develop in teenagers and adults.
Other types of soft tissue sarcomas include:
- Ewing sarcoma of soft tissue
- liposarcoma, which forms in fat
- synovial sarcoma, which can form near a joint such as the elbow or knee, or in other places in the body
- leiomyosarcoma, which forms in smooth muscle.