Two hundred and fifty-five previously untreated patients (pts) with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) (age range 15 days to 17 years, median 5 years) were evaluated and treated in our institution. Head and neck primaries were seen in 125 patients (49%), abdomino-pelvic in 73 (29%), trunk and lung in 20 (5%) and extremity lesions in 37 (15%). The histology was: embryonal 137; alveolar 42; botryoid 18; pleomorphic 14. Forty-four patients could not be subclassified. The stage of the patients were as follows: 15 in stage I, 74 in stage II, 139 in stage III and 27 in stage IV, according to the IRS grouping system. Patients were treated with a combination of surgery and radiation to doses of 35-55 Gy according to the patient's age and stage. All the patients received chemotherapy according to VAC or pulse-VAC (before 1988) and modified AVAC (after 1988) protocol. Survival curves were calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method. The statistical significance of each variable was tested by the log-rank test Overall survival was 42 percent at 10 years. Three important predictors for survival time were clinical group (p<0.001), age (p<0.001) and primary site (p=0.005). The best results involved clinical group I-II, age one to five years and orbital and genitourinary primary sites. An important predictor of survival time was also detected between those treated during the first ten years (1972-82) and last 10 years (1982-92), p<0.005. Of the 96 deaths, 37 were from progressive disease, 24 from infection, 4 during postoperative period (first 7 days), 18 from unknown causes and 13 from other causes.