Myofibroblastic malignancies

Adv Anat Pathol. 2004 Jul;11(4):190-201. doi: 10.1097/01.pap.0000131773.16130.aa.


Malignant tumors composed of myofibroblasts are increasingly being recognized, but their existence remains controversial. Currently accepted examples within this category represent spindle cell or pleomorphic neoplasms of the soft tissues with a spectrum of histological grades. Low- and intermediate-grade myofibrosarcomas are fascicular spindle cell neoplasms resembling fibrosarcoma or leiomyosarcoma. They infiltrate deep soft tissue with disproportionate involvement of head and neck sites and can recur locally but infrequently metastasize. They variably express myoid immunohistochemical markers, and their differential diagnosis includes benign myofibroblastic proliferations such as fasciitis and fibromatosis as well as other types of spindle cell sarcoma. High-grade (pleomorphic) myofibrosarcomas are an ultrastructurally defined subset of malignant fibrous histiocytoma, which they resemble in morphology and behavior. Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor and infantile fibrosarcoma are neoplasms that have myofibroblastic features and have been included in this category, but they have distinctive genetic findings. This article reviews the concept of myofibrosarcoma and describes its variants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / pathology*
  • Fibroblasts / ultrastructure
  • Fibrosarcoma / genetics
  • Fibrosarcoma / pathology*
  • Fibrosarcoma / ultrastructure
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Middle Aged
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / genetics
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / ultrastructure