Optimizing treatment of desmoid tumors

Dina Lev, Dhanasekaran Kotilingam, Caimiao Wei, Matthew T. Ballo, Gunar K. Zagars, Peter W.T. Pisters, Alexander A. Lazar, Shreyaskumar R. Patel, Robert S. Benjamin, Raphael E. Pollock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study compared a large series of desmoid patients treated at a single institution to a previously published series from the same institution to determine if patient population characteristics, treatment approaches, and clinical outcomes had undergone change over the two study periods. Materials and Methods: Data from a prospective soft tissue tumor database was used to analyze clinical courses of 189 desmoid patients treated at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (UTMDACC) from 1995 to 2005 as compared with 189 UTMDACC desmoid patients treated between 1965 and 1994. Results: A nearly three-fold increase in annualized UTMDACC desmoid referral volume with significantly higher percentages and numbers of primary desmoid tumor referrals to UTMDACC was observed in the most recent study period. Significantly increased systemic therapy use and decreased reliance on surgery alone was observed more recently. While the recent series patients had higher rates of macroscopic residual disease and equivalent rates of positive microscopic margins after definitive surgery, the estimated 5-year local recurrence rate of 20% was improved compared with the 30% rate observed in the earlier series. Conclusion: Increased awareness of the complex multidisciplinary management needed for desmoid tumor control may underlie significantly increased numbers of referrals to UTMDACC, especially primary untreated desmoids. Increased neoadjuvant treatments may be associated with improved desmoid patient outcomes. These trends should be supported, particularly if personalized molecular-based therapies are to be rapidly and effectively deployed for the benefit of those afflicted by this rare and potentially debilitating disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1785-1791
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1 May 2007
Externally publishedYes


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