BACKGROUND: Aggressive fibromatoses (desmoid tumours) may be locally aggressive, but do not metastasize. Although a conservative approach is advocated for most patients, pain and functional impairment are indications for active treatment. Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) α and melphalan-based isolated limb perfusion (TM-ILP) is a limb-saving treatment modality for soft tissue tumours. This study reports the results of TM-ILP treatment in patients with aggressive fibromatosis.
METHODS: Institutional databases of three European centres were searched. All patients who received TM-ILP treatment for aggressive fibromatosis between 1990 and 2012 were included. Before therapy, the patients were discussed at multidisciplinary tumour board meetings.
RESULTS: Twenty-five patients received 28 TM-ILP treatments. The median age of patients was 28 (i.q.r. 19-34) years and median hospital stay was 8 (7-12) days. Median follow-up was 84 (34-114) months. A complete response was achieved after two TM-ILP treatments, and a partial response after 17 treatments in 16 patients. Stable disease was reported after eight treatments in seven patients, including a patient with stable disease after the first treatment and progression after the second TM-ILP. Toxicity was modest after most treatments; Wieberdink grade IV (extensive epidermolysis, and threatening or manifest compartment syndrome) was seen after two TM-ILP treatments. Systemic leakage was reported after one treatment, but did not lead to systemic toxicity. Functional outcome was good; 16 patients had no physical limitations, and six patients had some limitations but did not need medical aids. Amputation was prevented in all but three patients.
CONCLUSION: TNF-α-based ILP is effective in patients with aggressive fibromatosis.