Desmoid tumors are tumors that arise from cells called fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are found throughout our body and their main function is to provide structural support and protection to the vital organs such as lung, liver, blood vessels, heart, kidneys, skin, intestines etc. and they also play a critical role in wound healing. When fibroblast cells undergo mutations they can become cancerous and become desmoid tumors. Desmoid tumours are also called as "aggressive fibromatosis"
Pathophysiology: Desmoid tumors are cytologically bland fibrous neoplasms originating from the musculoaponeurotic structures throughout the body. They often appear as infiltrative, usually well-differentiated, firm overgrowths of fibrous tissue, and they are locally aggressive. They commonly arise from the rectus abdominis muscle in postpartum women and in scars due to abdominal surgery, they may arise in any skeletal muscle.
Treatment: A biopsy is necessary to diagnose a desmoid tumor. If diagnosed patients should be evaluated by a multi-disciplinary team of surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, geneticists and nurses. There is no cure for desmoid tumors and when possible patients are encouraged to enlist in clinical trials. A biopsy is always indicated as the definitive method to determine nature of the tumour.
Major research: Desmoid tumor (aggressive fibromatosis) of the neck : They present a case of a 28-year-old white female with a five-month history of a painful mass in her left posterior cervical triangle who was treated by excisional biopsy of the lesion with preservation of the accessory nerve and post-operative radiation. The histopathologic characteristics of desmoid tumors and treatment of these lesions are also reviewed.