Desmoid tumors of the head and neck: A therapeutic challenge

Eelco De Bree, Odysseas Zoras, Jennifer L. Hunt, Robert P. Takes, Carlos Suárez, William M. Mendenhall, Michael L. Hinni, Juan P. Rodrigo, Ashok R. Shaha, Alessandra Rinaldo, Alfio Ferlito, Remco De Bree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Desmoid tumor, or aggressive fibromatosis, is a rare, histologically benign, fibroblastic lesion that infrequently presents in the head and neck. Desmoid tumors often grow locally, invasively, and may, in rare instances, be fatal secondary to invasion into critical structures, such as airway or major vessels. The most common treatment is surgery, but desmoid tumors are characteristically associated with a high local recurrence rate after resection. Although the margin status seems to be of importance, operations that avoid function loss and esthetic disfigurement should be the primary goal. The efficacy of postoperative radiotherapy is controversial. Its potential benefit should be carefully balanced against possible radiation-induced adverse effects. Alternative treatment modalities, such as primary radiotherapy and medical treatment or a wait-and-see policy, may be preferable to mutilating surgery. Considering all the aforementioned, it seems obvious that desmoid tumors of the head and neck present a therapeutic challenge and require an individualized approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1517-1526
Number of pages10
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2014


  • Aggressive fibromatosis
  • Desmoid
  • Desmoid tumor
  • Head and neck

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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