Background: Eosinophilic fasciitis and the related fasciitis panniculitis syndrome (FPS) are the clinical and morphologic expression of a variety of disorders, of which chronic inflammation and fibrous thickening of the subcutaneous septa, fascia, and perimysium are common. FPS in patients with cancer has been reported sporadically.
Methods: In the course of our studies of FPS we have encountered three patients who had an associated neoplasia. Nine reports of patients have been taken from the literature. The clinical and histologic data of FPS in the 12 patients were analyzed in the search of distinctive features from FPS in patients with no evidence of malignancy.
Results: Among patients with cancer-associated FPS there was a female predominance (8 patients), predilection for hematolymphatic malignancies (9 patients), precedence of the FPS to cancer diagnosis (10 patients) by a median lag time of 1 year, and unresponsiveness to prednisone therapy in most patients (7 of 8 patients).
Conclusions: Cancer-associated FPS has several characteristics of a paraneoplastic syndrome: it occurs at a distance from the tumor, certain types of tumors are overrepresented among patients with FPS, it evolves in concert with the neoplasia, and it sometimes remits after successful cancer surgery. In contrast to idiopathic FPS, cancer-associated FPS shows a female predominance, and it usually fails to respond to corticotherapy.