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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Desmoid tumor


Other Names for this Disease

  • Aggressive fibromatosis
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Treatment

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How might a desmoid tumor be treated?

Desmoid tumors can grow in almost any part of the body.  They are considered benign 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 variable ways: some grow slowly and cause few symptoms, whereas 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.  As such, treatments should be specific to each tumor's location, size, rate of growth, symptoms, and effect on surrounding tissues.[1][2]

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 impairment.  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 without causing significant impairment, surgery could be considered, but 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 because surgery is expected to cause significant disability; they may also be used following surgery to decrease the chance of the desmoid tumor regrowing (recurring).[1][2]
Last updated: 9/29/2014

References
  1. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Soft Tissue Sarcomas. National Comprehensive Cancer Network. 2014; http://www.nccn.org/. Accessed 9/29/2014.
  2. 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.


Clinical Trials & Research for this Disease

  • ClinicalTrials.gov lists trials that are studying or have studied Desmoid tumor. Click on the link to go to ClinicalTrials.gov to read descriptions of these studies.
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.