A 10-year review of surgical management of dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans

A. Durack*, S. Gran, M. D. Gardiner, A. Jain, E. Craythorne, C. M. Proby, J. Marsden, C. A. Harwood, R. N. Matin, A. Affleck, A. Ahmed, A. Akhtar, R. Atkar, K. Bisarya, S. Chinthapalli, M. Chowdry, R. Coelho, M. Fawzy, L. Hanna-Bashara, L. HughesS. Jing, R. Jones, C. Kokkinos, S. Manam, A. Matthews, C. McGrath, C. Mitchell, A. Murphy, R. Pinder, C. Scarsbrook, K. Tang, Z. C. Venables, J. Warbrick-Smith, B. L.M. Way, B. E. Wright

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is a rare skin cancer. Standard treatment in the UK is either wide local excision (WLE) or Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS). It is unclear which approach has the lower recurrence rate.

Objectives: We undertook a retrospective comparative review of surgical management of DFSP in the UK National Health Service in order to define (i) current surgical practice for primary and recurrent DFSP, (ii) local recurrence rates for primary DFSP and (iii) survival outcomes for DFSP.

Methods: A retrospective clinical case-note review of patients with histologically confirmed DFSP (January 2004 to December 2013) who have undergone surgical treatment.

Results: The surgical management of 483 primary and 64 recurrent DFSP in 11 plastic surgery and 15 dermatology departments was analysed. Almost 75% of primary DFSP (n = 362) were treated with WLE and 20% (n = 97) with MMS. For recurrent DFSP, 69% (n = 44) and 23% (n = 15) of patients underwent WLE and MMS, respectively. Recurrent primary DFSP occurred in six patients after WLE and none after MMS. The median follow-up time was 4·8 years (interquartile range 3·5–5·8), with eight reported deaths during the follow-up analysis period (one confirmed to be DFSP related).

Conclusions: WLE was the most common surgical modality used to treat DFSP across the UK. The local recurrence rate was very low, occurring only after WLE. Although a prospective randomized controlled trial may provide more definitive outcomes, in the absence of a clearly superior surgical modality, treatment decisions should be based on patient preference, clinical expertise and cost.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Early online date29 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This study was developed with support from the UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network (UK DCTN). The UK DCTN is grateful to the British Association of Dermatologists and the University of Nottingham for financial support of the Network.

Open Access: No Open Access licence.

Publisher Copyright: © 2020 British Association of Dermatologists

Citation: Durack, A., Gran, S., Gardiner, M., Jain, A., Craythorne, E., Proby, C., Marsden, J., Harwood, C., Matin, R. and (2021), A 10-year review of surgical management of dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans*. Br J Dermatol, 184: 731-739.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjd.19346


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