Soft tissue sarcoma

Soft tissue sarcomas start in the 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.



Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common type of soft tissue sarcoma. It forms from young cell types (called rhabdomyoblasts) that make up skeletal muscles.

Rhabdomyosarcomas are most common in younger children (under 10 years of age). However, they can develop in teenagers and adults.

Other soft tissue sarcomas

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 hip, knee, ankle or shoulder
  • leiomyosarcoma, which forms in smooth muscle.