Pediatric soft tissue tumors are one of the areas of pediatric pathology that frequently generate consult requests. Evolving classification systems, ancillary testing methods, new treatment options, research enrollment opportunities, and tissue archival processes create additional complexity in handling these unique specimens. Pathologists are at the heart of this critical decision-making, balancing responsibilities to consider expediency, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness of ancillary testing during pathologic examination and reporting.


To provide a practical approach to handling pediatric soft tissue tumor specimens, including volume considerations, immunohistochemical staining panel recommendations, genetic and molecular testing approaches, and other processes that impact the quality and efficiency of tumor tissue triage.

Data Sources.—

The World Health Organization Classification of Soft Tissue and Bone Tumors, 5th edition, other recent literature investigating tissue handling, and the collective clinical experience of the group are used in this manuscript.


Pediatric soft tissue tumors can be difficult to diagnose, and evaluation can be improved by adopting a thoughtful, algorithmic approach to maximize available tissue and minimize time to diagnosis.

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Author notes

The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.

Davis is currently with the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Indiana University, Indianapolis.