Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumors (DSRCT) Diagnosis


An accurate diagnosis is essential to ensure that your child gets the most-effective therapy. Desmoplastic small round cell tumors (DSRCTs) are so rare that many doctors overlook them. Some people come to MSK thinking they have one type of cancer, but they learn through our precision testing that they have a different type of cancer. At MSK Kids, your child benefits from a team of pathologists (doctors who specialize in diagnosing disease) who are dedicated to the sarcoma program and are experts at identifying the features and subtle nuances of each patient’s disease.

How are desmoplastic small round cell tumors diagnosed?

Your child’s pathology team will analyze a sample of the tumor. This is called a tissue biopsy. Our surgeons obtain this sample while your child is sedated with anesthesia. We look for the unique genetic marker found only in DSRCTs.

What tests will my child need?

DSRCTs can spread anywhere in the body. In addition to a tissue biopsy, your child will typically also have imaging tests to determine if the cancer has spread. This process is called staging. Staging is important because it enables doctors to determine the best care plan for your child. Imaging tests may include CT scanning, MRI, and PET scanning. We will let you know which tests your child will have and what to expect for each. Our pediatric imaging team does all we can to ensure that your child is comfortable during these tests.