Event-free survival in Desmoid-Type fibromatosis (DTF): A pre-post comparison of upfront surgery versus wait-and-see approach

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2021 May;47(5):1196-1200. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2020.08.009. Epub 2020 Aug 15.


Background: Desmoid-Type Fibromatosis (DTF) is a rare mesenchymal neoplasm with a locally invasive pattern and high risk of local recurrence after surgery. Historically, the standard treatment for DTF was surgical resection. However, considering the difficulty of achieving surgical eradication, the possible unnecessary morbidity and the unpredictability of the natural history, a wait-and-see approach has been proposed for asymptomatic DTF.

Methods: We analyzed 87 consecutive patients with histologically-proven sporadic primary DTF, first recurrence or residual disease managed at our institution between 2000 and 2018. Patients and tumor-related variables were reviewed and analyzed. Two different treatment strategies were adopted according to different time periods: in the "early period" (2000-2010) patients underwent surgical treatment irrespective of the clinical presentation, whereas in the "late period" (2012-2018) asymptomatic patients used to undergo a wait-and-see strategy. The event-free survival (EFS) was compared trough a pre-post comparison.

Results: In the early period, surgery was performed in 51 (94.4%) patients and watchful waiting in 3 (5.6%). In the late period, the watchful waiting group accounted for 24 (72.7%) patients and the surgical group for 9 (27.3%). No statistically independent prognostic factors were found. EFS did not show statistically significant differences between early and late period groups.

Conclusion: Wait-and-see policy has shown to be equivalent to upfront surgery in terms of EFS; therefore, a conservative approach is recommended in asymptomatic patients diagnosed with DTF that can be followed through watchful waiting.

Keywords: Desmoid tumor; Desmoid-type fibromatosis; Outcome; Surgery; Treatment; Wait-and-see.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Fibromatosis, Aggressive / mortality*
  • Fibromatosis, Aggressive / pathology
  • Fibromatosis, Aggressive / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Watchful Waiting*