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Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis
SJR: 0.946 SNIP: 0.503 CiteScore™: 2

ISSN Print: 0893-9675
ISSN Online: 2162-6448

Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevOncog.2015013566
pages 199-216

Biology and Treatment of Rhabdoid Tumor

James I. Geller
Division of Oncology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
Jacquelyn J. Roth
Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jaclyn A. Biegel
Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Children's Hospital Los Angeles; Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Ca


Rhabdoid tumor is a rare, highly aggressive malignancy that primarily affects infants and young children. These tumors typically arise in the brain and kidney, although extrarenal, non−central nervous system tumors in almost all soft-tissue sites have been described. SMARCB1 is a member of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex and functions as a tumor suppressor in the vast majority of rhabdoid tumors. Patients with germline mutations or deletions affecting SMARCB1 are predisposed to the development of rhabdoid tumors, as well as the genetic disorder schwannomatosis. The current hypothesis is that rhabdoid tumors are driven by epigenetic dysregulation, as opposed to the alteration of a specific biologic pathway. The strategies for novel therapeutic approaches based on what is currently known about rhabdoid tumor biology are presented.