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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Desmoid tumor


Other Names for this Disease

  • Aggressive fibromatosis
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Overview

What is are desmoid tumors?

How might a desmoid tumor be treated?

What is are desmoid tumors?

Desmoid tumors are benign (noncancerous) growths of the connective tissue. Although these tumors rarely spread to more distant parts of the body, they have a tendency to invade surrounding tissues and can be very difficult to remove.[1] Signs and symptoms vary from person to person and largely depend on the size and location of the tumor; however, many affected people experience pain, numbness, and/or tingling.[2] The cause of desmoid tumors is unknown, but they sometimes occur in people with certain conditions such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).[3] Treatment consists of surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or hormone therapy may also be used in some cases.[4]
Last updated: 11/30/2014

How might a desmoid tumor be treated?

Desmoid tumors can grow in almost any part of the body. They are considered benign (noncancerous) because they do not spread to distant parts of the body (metastasize), but they can invade nearby tissues such as nerves or organs. Desmoid tumors grow at different rates and affect nearby tissues in various ways. Some grow slowly and cause few symptoms, while others grow quickly and can have a significant impact on the body's function. Because of this variability, there is no standard treatment for desmoid tumors. Treatments should be specific to each tumor's location, size, rate of growth, symptoms, and effect on surrounding tissues.[5][6]

Possible treatments include observation, medications, surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy. Observation consists of monitoring the tumor over time to see if it changes or stays the same; this is recommended for tumors that are not causing symptoms or major problems. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or hormone therapy have been used to treat less aggressive desmoid tumors with variable responses. When it appears that a desmoid tumor can be removed, surgery can be considered; however, this decision depends on the impact that surgery is expected to have on body function. Radiation therapy or chemotherapy have been used to treat aggressive desmoid tumors that cannot be removed. They may also be used following surgery to decrease the chance of the desmoid tumor regrowing (recurring).[5][6]
Last updated: 11/30/2014

References
  1. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/desmoid-tumor. Genetic Home Reference. March 2013; http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/desmoid-tumor.
  2. Hosalkar HS, Fox EJ, Delaney T, Torbert JT, Ogilvie CM, Lackman RD. Desmoid Tumors and Current Status of Management. The Orthopedic Clinics of North America. 2006; 37:53-63. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16311111. Accessed 10/24/2011.
  3. de Bree E, Keus R, Melissas J, Tsiftsis D, van Coevorden F. Desmoid tumors: need for an individualized approach. Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy. 2009; 9:525-535. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19374605. Accessed 10/24/2011.
  4. Biermann JS. Desmoid Tumors. Current Treatment Options in Oncology. 2000; 1:262-266. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12057169. Accessed 10/25/2011.
  5. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Soft Tissue Sarcomas. National Comprehensive Cancer Network. 2014; http://www.nccn.org/. Accessed 9/29/2014.
  6. Devata S, Chugh R. Desmoid tumors: a comprehensive review of the evolving biology, unpredictable behavior, and myriad of management options. Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America. 2013; 27(5):989-1005. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24093172. Accessed 9/29/2014.


Other Names for this Disease
  • Aggressive fibromatosis
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.