Surgical Outcomes of Primary Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans: A Retrospective, Multicenter Study

Matthew T. Houdek, Kim M. Tsoi, Katherine E. Mallett, Ryan M. Claxton, Peter C. Ferguson, Anthony M. Griffin, Christian L. Baum, Jerry D. Brewer, Peter S. Rose, Jay S. Wunder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is a locally aggressive tumor with a low rate of metastatic disease. Previous series have shown a superiority of Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) compared with wide local excision (WLE). Likewise, there is paucity of data examining the long-term follow-up of patients. Objective: The purpose of the current study was to examine the outcome of surgical treatment of primary DFSP of the trunk and extremities. Methods: We reviewed 236 patients (115 females, 121 males, mean age 41 ± 15 years) undergoing MMS (n = 81, 34%) or WLE (n = 155, 66%) to treat a primary DFSP. Mean tumor size and follow-up was 4 ± 2 cm and 7 years, respectively. Final margins were negative in 230 (97%) patients. Results: There was no difference (p > 0.05) in patient age, sex, tumor size, negative margin excision, or history of a previous inadvertent excision between patients who underwent WLE and those undergoing MMS. There were two cases of local recurrence and two cases of metastasis, with no difference in the 5-year local recurrence-free survival (98% vs. 99%, p = 0.69) or metastatic-free survival (98% vs. 100%, p= 0.27) between WLE and MMS. Conclusion: There was no difference in oncologic outcome comparing MMS with WLE for DFSP outside the head and neck. The goal of treatment for DFSP is to achieve a negative margin, regardless of surgical treatment modalities. A ‘less is more’ approach to follow-up can likely be taken for patients with completely resected DFSP in easy-to-examine anatomical areas. In these patients, no formal follow-up should be required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8632-8638
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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