What is liposarcoma? 

Liposarcoma is a malignant soft tissue tumor that develops in fat tissue. It’s most often found in the abdominal cavity or extremities, usually the thigh or upper arm, but it can be found anywhere in the body. Liposarcoma tumors can exist for a long time before they are discovered and does not usually spread beyond its local location. The cause of this tumor is unknown but has been linked to genetics and inherited diseases. Liposarcoma is very rare in children, and is much more likely to occur in an adult. 

The three primary subtypes of liposarcoma include well-differentiated (low-grade tumors that may recur locally but don’t spread), myxoid and pleomorphic, which are aggressive and highly-malignant.

What are the symptoms of liposarcoma?

Because soft tissue sarcomas affect tissue that is elastic and easily moved, a tumor may exist for a long time before being discovered, growing large and pushing aside surrounding tissue. Liposarcoma symptoms vary greatly with the size, location and spread of the tumor, but may include:

  • painless swelling or mass anywhere on the body
  • pain or soreness caused by compressed nerves or muscles
  • limping or other difficulty using the legs, feet, arms or hands
  • diminished range of motion in the affected area

How we care for liposarcoma

Children with liposarcoma are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center through our Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors Program. Our integrated pediatric oncology program offers the combined expertise of a leading cancer center and a world-renown children’s hospital.