Malignant fibrous histiocytoma of the glans penis: a case report

Anal Quant Cytol Histol. 2006 Feb;28(1):39-42.


Background: Malignant fibrous histiocytoma has been regarded as the most common sarcoma of older adults. However, recent opinion regards pleomorphic malignant fibrous histiocytoma as an undifferentiated high grade pleomorphic sarcoma not otherwise classifiable utilizing current techniques available in surgical pathology. Notwithstanding controversy regarding its nomenclature, malignant fibrous histiocytoma involving the penis is exceedingly rare, with only 4 cases previously described, to our knowledge.

Case: An uncircumcised 73-year-old male presented with a painless, granular, partially necrotic lesion beneath the penile foreskin. There was no history of sexually transmitted disease, constitutional symptoms or dysuria. Examination of penile shaft, testicles, spermatic cord and inguinal lymph nodes were unremarkable. Biopsy revealed a markedly pleomorphic sarcoma. Subsequent, partial penectomy revealed the same lesion with an adjacent area of squamous cell carcinoma in situ.

Conclusion: Malignant fibrous histiocytoma remains a diagnosis of exclusion. The investigation requires extensive tumor sampling in search of areas of differentiation and a complete battery of immunohistochemical markers. Therapeutically important entities in the differential diagnosis that must be ruled out include other poorly differentiated sarcomas, sarcomatoid squamous cell carcinoma and desmoplastic melanoma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Histiocytoma, Malignant Fibrous / diagnosis*
  • Histiocytoma, Malignant Fibrous / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Penile Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Penile Neoplasms / pathology
  • Sarcoma / diagnosis*
  • Sarcoma / pathology


  • Biomarkers, Tumor