Fibromatoses: From postsurgical surveillance to combined surgery and radiation therapy

Raymond Miralbell, Herman D. Suit, D. Phil, Henry J. Mankin, Lawrence R. Zuckerberg, Michael A. Stracher, Andrew E. Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


The results of management of two groups of patients with musculoaponeurotic (desmoid tumors) and plantar fibromatoses seen at Massachusetts General Hospital (NIGH) during the period 1970-1985 are examined: (a) 26 patients who had had surgical resection for their primary fibromatosis but whose surgical margins were positive and who received no further treatment; and (b) 24 patients who were treated for their primary or recurrent fibromatosis by radiation alone or combined with surgery. For the 26 patients who were only observed, despite the positive surgical margins, 9 have recurred; the actuarial continuous local control rate at 5 years was 68% (a median follow-up of 70 months). Five patients had gross disease left after surgery and all of them failed. Seventeen of 21 patients who had grossly complete resection have local control; the four failures have been salvaged. This result supports the rationale for a no treatment but a thorough and close follow-up policy for patients with positive margins after grossly complete resection of a primary desmoid or fascial fibromatosis. There is no risk of metastasis in these patients and hence the effort toward a conservative policy which defers radiation merits interest and further study. Of the second group, 23 patients were treated for gross disease and one patient for microscopic disease after surgical resection. All of the 10 patients who were treated for primary desmoid tumor have local control. Among the 14 recurrent desmoid tumors there have been five local failures, after treatment by radiation alone or radiation + surgery. Three patients treated by radiation alone are currently scored as incompletely regressed tumors. Accordingly 16 of the 24 patients are scored as local controls without evidence of disease and 19 of the 24 are scored as local control (complete response or partial but stable response).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-540
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Desmoid tumor
  • Fibromatoses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation


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