Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans is a rare dermal tumor that recurs after inadequate primary treatment. In a retrospective study, we analyzed the outcomes of 117 patients (mean age 39 years) treated surgically for a dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. In most cases (107 patients), surgery was performed according to a protocol of taking wide peripheral resection margins of 5 cm and by resecting a disease-free anatomic zone deep to the lesion. The mean follow-up was 61 months.
The results suggest a difference in prognosis between patients treated primarily with wide initial resection and those referred secondarily with recurrent disease following previous treatment by narrow resection margins. There was no recurrent disease in the 66 patients treated primarily by wide peripheral (5 cm) and deep resection of the tumor. Of the 41 patients referred secondarily at the time of recurrence, 2 developed further local disease within a year, despite equally aggressive local treatments. Both patients eventually died of metastatic fibrosarcoma.
We emphasize the value of a highly aggressive local resection in the primary treatment of dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans to minimize local recurrence and potential malignant transformation. Modern reconstructive techniques provide satisfactory solutions for defects of almost any size and composition. Our findings suggest that radical primary resection of dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans in conjunction with immediate reconstruction of the primary defect provides the best outcome for the patient.